Vine varieties: Chardonnay

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About
(397,239 tonnes in 2013, 22% of the nation’s total crush). In Australia as elsewhere in the world, Chardonnay is seen as the grape of today and of tomorrow. In the first few years of this century, there were predictions of a glut which were not fulfilled. Plantings are still growing, albeit cautiously. In a climate of uncertainty about the desirability of new plantings, Chardonnay stands apart, with positive sentiment certain to see increased tonnages in the years ahead. It is grown in every wine region, bending as much to the wills of the viticulturists and winemakers as to the influence of climate and terroir. The style varies from simple to complex, quality from mediocre to excellent, factors increasingly recognized by a widening range of prices. Fluctuations in supply and demand have seen blends with Semillon, Colombard, Chenin Blanc, and so forth come and go; only Western Australia has persisted with an enduring market for Houghton HWB (previously White Burgundy) and Margaret River Classic.