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Its adaptability to different soils and climates, and malleability in the wine room make Chardonnay one of the most popular and ubiquitous grapes. Responsible for some of the world’s most thrilling white wines wines including Champagne, it is in its homeland of Burgundy with villages such as Chablis, Meursault and Puligny-Montrachet that producers craft arguably some of the world’s finest wines. Chardonnay is also synonymous with California, where it can display riper, tropical fruit flavors, rather than the more restrained stone fruit and steely, mineral qualities often associated with its Old World and cool climate counterparts. While there are terrific fresh and vibrant Chardonnays made solely using stainless steel, the grape also knits terrifically well with oak, lending greater depth and weight in the form of a nutty, toasty and somtimes buttery component.
Country: United States
Although wine is made in all 50 states, it is understandable, with almost 90% of the country's production, that California is synonymous with domestic wine. As of 2010 harvest, reports indicate that Washington, New York & Oregon account for additional 6% of production, meanwhile Virginia, Missouri and Texas's wine industries are growing to a point beyond that of just a tourist attraction.
California is one of the most diverse wine producing regions of the world. Although it has a history spanning over 200 years, it has experienced most of its growth in the last fifty years. The regions of Napa Valley and Sonoma County have become as renowned as France’s Bordeaux and Burgundy. While Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay are by far the most popular fine wine varieties, producers in the Golden State have also experimented with an unparalleled array of diverse varieties, including Zinfandel, Syrah, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, and Tempranillo.
Sub-Region: Sonoma County
With a wide range of climate and soils reflected in its 13 AVAs (as of 2012), Sonoma County could almost be considered a whole wine country within itself. It is one of the largest wine regions and significantly overshadows Napa in terms of quantity produced. The main AVAs include: Alexander Valley and Dry Creek, known for good Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel; Knights Valley and Sonoma Mountain, for its Cabernet Sauvignon; and Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma Mountain, for their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
White wine is a wine whose color can be pale-yellow, yellow-green, and yellow-gold colored. The wine is produced from a variety of grape varieties. The flavor and color comes from the juice of the grape and sometimes the skin of the grape as well. Interestingly, not all white wine comes from white grapes. Some select red grapes are used as in Champagne.