Why Chardonnay is a Great Grape To Grow in the Temecula Valley Wine Country
Chardonnay is the most widely planted grape in the world. It is adaptable from cool regions like Chablis in the northwestern region of Burgundy or even England to Mediterranean climates like Southern California and Australia. The name comes from the village of Chardonnay, Saône-et-Loire France, and is said to originate from the Latin word for the abundant Thistles in the region, carduus.
Wine Tasting: The Varying Tastes of Chardonnay by Climate
These two extremes in climate define the two major styles of Chardonnay you see in the tasting room. Cool climates have high acid low sugar, low alcohol, citrus fruit of green apple or pear due to the higher concentrations of malic acid. The wines are dry and often are defined by high levels of minerality. Cool region Chardonnays, including many sparkling wines, are essentially harvested underripe giving them high acid and minerality that need to be paired with food.
With warm climate Chardonnay, the malic acid is reduced; it can be either dry or slightly sweet with higher alcohol. The aromas and flavor tend towards citrus and tropical fruit, honey, butterscotch, buttery and nutty oily flavors with a viscous mouthfeel.
Warmer climate chardonnays are also sometimes oaked, a rarity with white wines. An additional process called malolactic fermentation(ML) is also common with oaked chardonnays. ML is a friendly bacteria that convert the naturally occurring grape acid Malic acid to Lactic acid, the same acid in butterfat, that in combination with vanilla from the oak barrels and you get the unique rich ‘creamy buttery quality of warm climate chardonnay
Warm climate Chardonnays are allowed to develop to full ripeness, which created the tropical fruit flavors. The challenge in the vineyard is to allow the fruit to fully ripen while retaining sufficient acid to avoid a “flabby” wine and to have enough malic acid to convert to lactic acid for that classic buttery Chardonnay. Our regenerative farming practices support a biologically active soil that delivers dense plant nutrients including trace minerals that allow the fruit to fully ripen and retain high levels of acid and minerals creating really good wines.
Wilson Creek Winery: Our Temecula Winery Chardonnays
Yes Dear, Chardonnay
100% estate-grown using regenerative farming practices. During the winemaking process, we blend old vine Chardonnay from behind Rosie Wilson’s house, which has a soft tropical fruit-driven flavor with younger blocks of chardonnay that have higher acid and minerality to get the best of both. Yes Dear is a classic California buttery (ML) style of Chardonnay with notes of tropical fruits, ripe melon and butterscotch.
Spring white is a blend of all of our estate Chardonnay, Viognier, and Muscat varietals. With a base of Chardonnay, Viognier adds structure and acid making this a refreshing palate-cleansing wine. Muscat gives roundness and a floral quality while Roussanne creates a long smooth finish. The combination of the very aromatic Muscat with the flavors of Chardonnay and bright refreshing acids and minerality of Viognier create a complex refreshing wine that pairs well with food or as a refreshing summer sipper.