Definition - What does Chardonnay mean?
In the context of grape varietals, Chardonnay is a white grape varietal and a species of vitis vinifera that originated in Croatia. A cross between the Pinot Blanc and Gouais Blanc grapes, Chardonnay was brought to France by the Greeks and is now planted all over the world due to its ability to adapt to different climates and conditions. The vine grows very big and features large leaves that are pruned to direct the energy of the vine into the grapes. The Chardonnay grape is used to make Chardonnay, White Bourdeaux, Champagne and Chablis wines. Chardonnay is one of the noble grape varieties.
WineFrog explains Chardonnay
Chardonnay is a very popular grape varietal due to its ease of adaptability to different climates, for the taste and flavor characteristics of the grape and how easily it can be made into many different wine styles. Chardonnay grapes are well known for expressing the terroir of the region and climate they were grown, and along with their other attributes, they are very popular with winemakers.
Cool-climate Chardonnay grapes are well known for their base characteristics of crisp acidity and apple/pear flavors while warm-climate Chardonnays have more tropical fruit and honey flavors. Chardonnays are often aged in oak and this creates flavors of vanilla, oakiness and adds tannins to the wine.