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Celebrate International Chardonnay Day

19 May, 2020

Versatile is an understatement when it comes to chardonnay. With International Chardonnay Day upon us, we look at this great white and some of its star regions across Australia for a diversity of styles to explore. 


Chardonnay is the wine that arguably put Australia on the world stage. The full-bodied and oaked styles of the 1980s were known as sunshine in the glass, but this ubiquitous variety has evolved since those heady days. Less is more and restraint is the way forward, but that doesn’t mean it now lacks flavour or personality. Think tight, bright and vibrant fruit flavours, all wrapped up in texture, richness, layers and length. Chardonnay is all grown up.    

This is also a grape variety that really allows growers and makers to put their stamp on it with their choice of techniques, all while still creating wines that reflect their site and regionality. Terroir reigns, but today's countless styles also reflect the producers’ preferences. Some expressions lie at the richer end of the spectrum, with malolactic fermentation and lees stirring often involved, while other styles are woven a little more tightly, inspiring descriptors that reference the likes of minerality and acidity.

Whatever your preference, you’re spoilt for choice because this variety shines right across the country. Here, we outline a handful of the standout regions and just some of the producers to seek out. 

Margaret River, WA
Synonymous with chardonnay (and cabernet), the stunning coastal region of Margaret River enjoys maritime breezes, which combine with the climatic conditions here to create luscious, intense wines known for their vibrant fruit and richness.
Try: Credaro Estate, Clairault Streicker, Vasse Felix, Xanadu Wines  

Margaret River, WA Synonymous with chardonnay (and cabernet), the stunning coastal region of Margaret River enjoys maritime breezes that combine with the climatic conditions to create the luscious, intense wines, known for their vibrant fruit and richneTry: Credaro Estate, Clairault Streiker, Vasse Felix, Xanadu Wine

Orange, NSW 
Chardonnay thrives in cool climates, which is what makes Orange such great wine country. Colder conditions combined with some of the highest altitude in Australia create chardonnays that are delicate, showing citrus, melon and apple flavours with excellent acidity. 
Try: Printhie Wines, Cumulus, Logan Wines (Mudgee-based, but with Orange wines in the collection), Ross Hill 

Tumbarumba, NSW
This cool-climate region is fast gaining a reputation as a premium chardonnay producer. With many other wineries sourcing fruit from this region, these wines are highly regarded for their pure fruit flavours, natural acidity and minerality. 
Try: Moppity Vineyards, Nick O’Leary Wines, McWilliam’s Wines, Courabyra Wines  

Adelaide Hills, SA
This bucolic region so close to Adelaide has carved a place for itself as an ideal home for a number of varieties, including chardonnay. A diversity of sites across the region’s undulating landscape and cool climate produce wines of structure, intensity and length. 
Try: Pike + Joyce, Shaw + Smith, Tapanappa, Bird in Hand 

Yarra Valley, VIC As one of the hallmark varieties of the Yarra Valley, alongside pinot noir, a diversity of styles is proudly produced here. Think fruit flavours spanning citrus to melon in wines of elegance and complexity.   Try: Oakridge Wines, Giant Steps, Coldstream Hills, Helen’s Hill 
Hunter Valley, NSW 
The warmer climate of the Hunter Valley has long produced exceptional chardonnay. Typically showing stone fruit flavours, creamy cashew, spice and nut from oak maturation, these much-loved wines unmistakably reveal their regionality. 
Try: First Creek, Tyrrell’sSilkman Wines, De Iuliis Wines 

Mornington Peninsula, VIC
This region is another that hangs its hat on its chardonnay as one of its flagship wines, and its cool climate typically brings a high natural acidity to the grapes and intense fruit characters, ranging from melon to stone fruit.  
Try: Paringa Estate, Handpicked Wines, Montalto, Crittenden Estate

This region also hangs its hat on its chardonnay as one of its flagship wines, and its cool climate typically brings a high natural acidity to the grapes and intense fruit characters, ranging from melon to stone fruit.   Try: Paringa Estate, Handpicked Wines, Montalto, Crittenden Estate
Great Southern, WA 
This vast region is marking its place as an ideal home for a range of varieties, but chardonnay is among those that shine. Fine, citrus-dominant expressions also have all the structure and intensity required for great examples of this variety. 
Try: Snake + Herring, Singlefile, Larry Cherubino Wines, Frankland Estate