Chardonnay is an international grape variety that originated in eastern central France, a natural cross between Pinot and Gouais Blanc. It is an immensely versatile and phenomenally popular variety. And for me it shines brightest in our cool climate.
What can be added to the vast amount that has been written about Chardonnay? It is a grape that has been adored and hated, often for the very same reasons. It has been created in some areas in such a way that the name of the grape is forgotten and the area name has taken precedence. It has been blended with practically everything else and made on its own in so many different styles, often creating a trend in the market and then, just as quickly, responding to shifts and recreating itself for changing tastes. From in-your-face big bold oaked monsters to supremely elegantly crafted masterpieces, we have tried them all and all of them have been loved, at least by someone, somewhere.
It is impossible to give any generic tasting characteristics of Chardonnay as it is such a versatile grape and differing methods of vinification can lead to very different aroma and palate results.
We offer Chardonnay from France (Beaujolais, Mâcon, Burgundy, Savoie, Jura), Italy, Austria and Switzerland. Each is a fine example and each a different expression of this international superstar. Of course the less well known areas hold previously untasted secrets, Wachau, Styria, Burgenland, Weinvertel, Geneva and Valais. Forget any prejudices and long-held beliefs, this is where the new Chardonnay adventure begins.
Chardonnay is an international grape variety that originated in eastern central France although there have been claims that it comes from Lebanon. These claims can be disproved since DNA testing has identified Chardonnay’s parents and neither have ever been cultivated in Lebanon.
Chardonnay is a natural cross between Pinot and Gouais Blanc. It is therefore, the sibling of Melon, Gamay Noir, Aligoté and many others. The three named are significant because Chardonnay has been known under variations of their names at times in the past. In Switzerland, Chardonnay has been crossed with Chasselas to produce Doral.
DNA testing recently determined that Humagne Rouge originated in the Val d'Aosta in Italy (just over the St. Bernard pass from Valais) where it was commercially extinct, but has now been replanted under its original name "Cornalin". The original name is used as the botanical name for the grape so Humagne Rouge is (Cornalin). However, the Swiss had reused the "abandoned" name Cornalin in the 1970's as a more marketable name for the grape (Rouge du Pays).
In Switzerland wines called Humagne Rouge and Cornalin are made from different grapes, but a Humagne Rouge from Switzerland and a Cornalin from Italy are made from the same grapes. You may see people distinguish the separate uses of Cornalin as "Cornalin d'Aoste" and "Cornalin du Valais" but the easiest way is to just know whether the wine is from Italy or Switzerland.
Humagne Blanche (Humagne) is, despite the name, unrelated to Humagne Rouge (Cornalin). The grape the Swiss call Cornalin (Rouge du Pays) is one of the parents of Humagne Rouge (Cornalin), the other being unknown and assumed extinct.
Delivery within 2 days, wines left where requested and one is able to order half a dozen wines at one time. We have always rated Swiss wines very highly and it is good to find a company that supplies such good quality wines.