Definition - What does Cool-Climate Chardonnay mean?
Chardonnay wine reaches its potential in cooler climates due to the fact that colder temperatures produce a crisp, freshness to the wine. Chardonnays grown at lower temperatures will produce a bright, tart taste while slightly higher (but still cool) temperatures will produce a more citrusy, sweet taste. The highest quality cool-climate regions for chardonnay typically include the northwestern part of the United States (California, Oregon and Washington), the Burgundy region of France, Argentinian foothills, the pacific coast of Chile, South Africa and Australia.
WineFrog explains Cool-Climate Chardonnay
The cool-climate chardonnays have a refreshing acidity and and green fruit or apple flavor resembling Old World wines with low alcohol content. These wines are usually produced near coastlines, in high altitudes or mountainous regions and in the Northern hemispheres or low Southern hemispheres. The challenges with growing these grapes in cold climates can be getting them to maturity at the right time, waiting for the acidity to fall and avoiding sensitivities to mold in chilly, wet areas.
The wide variety of regions produces many different characteristics in the wine such as, ripe citrus fruits (lemon, pear, apple) in Burgundy or Ontario or a steely character with stone fruit flavors found in Oregon. Their character and taste depend mostly on the type of cold they are exposed to like wind or water and the soil/vine relationship. These wines pair well with almost all foods due to their creamy depths and are best served slightly chilled.