There are over 160 wine grapes planted in Australia’s almost 150,000 hectares of vines. Interestingly, three varieties comprise more than half of the country’s vineyards: Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
Chardonnay is the most planted varietal in Australia, and it’s easy to see why. The noble Burgundian grape feels right at home in Australia. Here’s all you need to know about Australia’s Chardonnay, commemorating 50 years of Australian Chardonnay.
Before we talk about the queen of white grapes, we’d love to invite you on one of our Yarra Valley wine tours for 2 and experience Chardonnay where it’s grown. Let a Yarra Valley driver take you on an unforgettable tour. A Chauffeur Drive Melbourne Yarra Valleyprivate driver is your fastest way to wine knowledge.
What is Chardonnay all About?
Chardonnay is a French grape from Burgundy, the offspring of Pinot Noir and Gouais Blanc. Experts believe the varietal is as old as French wine itself, and its true origins are unknown.
Still, Chardonnay has become one of the most cherished grapes in France and the world. Today, Chardonnay is the most planted white grape worldwide, and it’s grown in every wine-producing country.
Chardonnay’s full body and affinity to oak make it a fantastic source of young and age-worthy wines. It’s hard not to love Chardonnay.
Chardonnay in Australia
Governor Phillip brought the first grapevines to the penal colony of New South Wales on the First Fleet in 1788. Years later, in 1833, James Busby, the father of Australian wine, brought Spanish and French grapes to the country.
Still, Australian Chardonnay didn’t become a thing until 50 years ago. The Tyrrell Winery of Pokolbin planted the first commercial Chardonnay vineyards in the Hunter Valley in 1968. Now, the GI is known for its age-worthy wines made with Semillon, but Chardonnay is still a big deal in the area.
The first Chardonnay-based, oaked wines of Australia were born, and they became prevalent in the 70s and 80s. Today, we can safely say Chardonnay is Australia’s flagship white varietal, and it thrives in Western Australia, South Australia, and of course, Victoria. Some of the most successful Chardonnay wines come from the cold-climate regions of the Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley.
We should also mention Chardonnay is the leading grape in sparkling wines, and Yarra Valley excels in the style.
Celebrate Chardonnay’s 50 Anniversary
Turning 50 is a big deal, even for wine grapes. Celebrate the queen of white varietals by taking one of our Yarra Valley wine tours for 2 and exploring the most refined Chardonnay wines where they’re made.
Enjoy the company of a private driver and let him take you to the most memorable vineyards in Yarra Valley. A Chauffeur Drive Melbourne Yarra Valleyprivate driver is also a fantastic designated driver, so you can party all weekend!