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As the story is told, the very first planting of Chardonnay in California dates back to 1882 by Charles Wetmore. He obtained cuttings from Burgundy planting them in his Livermore Valley vineyard.
California Chardonnay has come a long way since then and has grown to become the regions’ most prolific white grape. This prized varietal is crafted in some of the best terroirs in Napa, Sonoma, Santa Lucia Highlands, Carneros,
Santa Rita Hills and Santa Barbara, to name a few.
Generally, the more classic styles are medium bodied, display nice acidity, with riper fruit expression, some toastiness and a buttery note. However, there has been a shift, especially from more smaller producers
who are steering away from opulent styles, instead are making more Burgundian style Chardonnays. The profile usually has more restrained fruits, citrus, hints of tropical flavors, and the use of less oak to no oak at all.
The overall style is a balance of acidity, minerality, freshness, lower alcohol (less than 14%) and to express the unique characteristics of the region, an overall sense of place.
The majority of California Chardonnay wines are meant for early consumption to be enjoyed year round. Their versatility lends them to drink on their own or pair with just about everything; an array of cheeses,
roast chicken, seafood dishes, meats and salads.
Debra, California Chardonnay Buyer