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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.
After returning to a democracy and free market economy in the 1980s, it was, as if out of nowhere that Chile re-entered the international wine scene. Its geography protects the viticultural industry with 3,000 miles of coastline to the west, the Andes mountains to the east, the Atacama desert to the north, and the Antarctic to the south. Free from most pests, including Phylloxera (which has ravaged vines throughout the world), most producers have no need to spray any pesticides, making it quite easy to farm organically. A significant amount of production is located within the central valley, which stretches from the Maipo valley, the closest wine region to Santiago, south 155 miles to the Maule Valley. The most popular wines are those made from Cabernet Sauvignon, which prospers in the Mediterranean and accounts for over 50% of the countries dark skinned varietals. Carmenere has now been firmly marketed as the countries signature grape. While its plantings are increasing rapidly, it currently accounts for just under 9000 hectares or 12% of all red grapes. Areas showing potential for growth and diversity are Elqui and Limari to the far north and the two coastal regions of Casablanca and San Antonio, all of which are carving out their niche for cool climate varieties including Syrah, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling.
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.