October 03, 2023
New Zealand's Love Affair wtih Chardonnay
When it comes to white wines, New Zealand is perhaps best known internationally for its vibrant Sauvignon Blancs. But those in the know have another favorite: New Zealand Chardonnay. This varietal, with its diverse styles and high-quality expressions, showcases the country's viticultural prowess.
Does New Zealand make Chardonnay?
Absolutely. Chardonnay is one of New Zealand's most planted grape varieties, thriving particularly in regions like Hawke's Bay, Gisborne, and Marlborough. With varying climates and terrains, each area produces a Chardonnay with its distinct characteristics, ranging from lean and mineral-driven to rich and buttery.
What are the best Chardonnays in NZ?
New Zealand has numerous standout Chardonnays, and your individual palate will be different to others. However, here are three that have captured the attention of critics and wine enthusiasts alike:
- 2019 Squawking Magpie Counting Crows Chardonnay: Hailing from Hawke's Bay, this wine showcases a beautiful balance of fruit intensity and elegant oak infusion.
- 2016 Clearview Reserve Chardonnay: Another gem from Hawke's Bay, this Chardonnay is known for its complexity and full-bodied richness, with tropical fruit flavors complemented by nuances of toasted hazelnut.
- 2016 The Darling Chardonnay: From the famous Marlborough region, this organic wine offers a crisp palate with stone fruit aromas and a touch of minerality.
Is New Zealand Chardonnay good?
In a word: Yes. With its diverse regions and climates, New Zealand offers a Chardonnay for every taste preference. Whether you love a rich, oaky style or a fresh, unoaked version, New Zealand's wineries deliver with quality and character. The country's dedication to sustainable viticulture practices further enhances the purity and authenticity of its wines.
What is the Chardonnay capital of NZ?
While Marlborough reigns supreme for its Sauvignon Blanc, many wine enthusiasts and experts crown Hawke's Bay as the Chardonnay capital of New Zealand. The region's warm climate, coupled with its diverse range of soils from limestone to clay loams, creates an optimal environment for producing world-class Chardonnays.
New Zealand's Chardonnay is a testament to the country's versatility in winemaking. Its ability to produce top-tier Chardonnays that can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with other global powerhouses speaks volumes about its potential and the passion of its winemakers.
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