Chardonnay Climate Influences

Climate Influences:

Cool Climate:  Just ripe or less ripe Chardonnay grapes bring high acidity, tart citrus or green apple and pear flavors to light, bright and fresh wines.  Alcohol is well balanced with the fruit and acid resulting in a medium bodied wine.

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Cool climate Chardonnay will have the lowest alcohol for the varietal. Reference:

Moderate Climate:  Acidity is moderate and balances nicely with ripe peach or tropical fruit flavors, especially just ripe pineapple and melon.  Possessing medium weight or body, they taste refreshing and friendly with many food pairings as the alcohol level remains balanced, neither too low or too high.

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Moderate climate Chardonnay will have an Alcohol % between cool climate and warm climate styles . Reference:

Warm Climate:  Develops the heaviest wines with medium acidity but full fruit flavors leaning toward very ripe, even baked, stone fruits and very ripe tropical fruits.  Oak influences are often prevalent leading to a baked fruit flavor palate.  If malolactic fermentation is considerable, this adds a creaminess to the palate resulting in a full bodied, rich and opulent Chardonnay.  Alcohol levels can be high due to the increased amount of sugar in the grape.  If too high, winemakers may add additional acid (acidification) to better balance the wine.

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Warmer climate Chardonnay will have higher Alchohol % than cooler climate styles. Reference: