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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.
With vines stretching from its most southerly Mediterranean islands all the way to the foothills of the Alps, Italy has, just behind France and Spain, the most land under vines and exports more than any other country. With dozens of regions,and an even greater number of indigenous varieties particular to those regions, understanding all of Italy's wine can be a thoroughly exciting but lifetime long challenge. The most popular regions include; Piedmont, the home of Nebbiolo, Barbera, and Muscato, to name a few; Tuscany, known for Sangiovese, particularly in the Chianti area and the town of Brunello; And thirdly the Veneto, for its Prosecco and Pinot Grigio. Southern Italy's regions; Abruzzo, Campagnia and Puglia, not to forget the islands of Sicily and Sardinia are a great source of food-friendly and very affordable wines.
Tuscany is practically synonymous with Italian wine. Red wine, principally made from Sangiovese, accounts for most of the region’s production. Whether it’s a light Chianti, bold Brunello di Montalcino, or fruit-forward Super Tuscan there is a wine for just about everyone. Other sub-regions within Tuscany include Maremma, Bolgheri, and Rosso di Montalcino.
Chianti is the sub-region of Tuscany located between Florence to the north and Siena to the south. Wine made within the eight historical zones is labelled Chianti Classico and must be made with a minimum 80% Sangiovese and is often topped up with Canaiolo, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon as well as two white grapes, Trebbiano and Malvasia. With its many small, picturesque rolling hills, aspect and soil types vary significantly, even within a single estate. Any wine made by a member of the Consorzio (wine-growers association) is bottled wearing the recognizable black rooster "Gallo Nero" seal around the neck of the bottle.
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.