Thursday, May 21, 2020 marks the tenth year celebrating this special wine day dedicated to lovely Chardonnay.
A Timeline of Chardonnay
Let’s have a quick break down of what exactly Chardonnay is and why it deserves its own special day!
The noble Chardonnay was born in southern Burgundy’s Mâconnais region, from Pinot Noir and the very ancient, nearly extinct variety, Gouais Blanc. The history of Chardonnay is a bit unclear, with the first written mentions dating back to the late 1600s, but more ambiguous references of the grape found nearly a decade earlier in the late 1500s. Nevertheless, for us it doesn’t quite matter as much when it came about, we’re just grateful it has stuck around!
As a new world wine, Chardonnays are generally known for being oaky and buttery, whereas old world Chardonnays exhibit lean, crisp mineral flavors. The new world Chardonnays are well known, with many awards to show for its greatness. The most significant honor rewarded in the famous Paris wine tasting of 1976.
Many may know this Paris wine tasting more specifically as the Judgment of Paris, in which the Château Montelena from Napa Valley, California shocked the wine world by winning the white wine award. One way to celebrate Chardonnay Day, could be to learn more about this historical moment and the rise of California winemakers by watching the movie “Bottle Shock”, accompanied with a nice glass of Chardonnay.
After this, in the 80s, Chardonnay became extremely popular, in fact so popular that suppliers could hardly keep up with how fast the wine was flying off the shelves. Because of the high demand, this led to some poor over-oaked, butter bomb Chardonnay wines. Thankfully, since then the quality has picked back up, leaving mostly great Chardonnays, although a few butter bombs still exist, but hey maybe there were enough fans of it out there to keep it around.
Today, Chardonnay is the fifth most planted grape in the world, and the second most planted white wine grape variety in the world. However, many believe it to be, or at least soon to be, the first most planted, since it is far more popular than the actual most planted white wine grape, Airén, the white grape native to Spain.
The Origins of Chardonnay Day
Back in 2009, the wine industry was struggling due to the global economy recovering from a bank crisis. In efforts to boost sales and fix the wine industry slump, as well as kick off the Memorial Day holiday weekend, Rick Bakas suggested a day dedicated to the brilliant wine, Chardonnay.
International Chardonnay Day is always celebrated on the Thursday before Memorial Day; therefore the date is often changing from year to year.
In 2010, the first Chardonnay Day occurred, with celebrations and tasting in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Burgundy, Paris, London, New York, Miami, Austin, Chicago, Denver, Seattle, Oregon, and all throughout California.
Celebrating Chardonnay Day
With everything going on this year, Chardonnay Day will be 100% online. In the past, live events and tasting rooms were what made the day so popular and successful. Nonetheless, just as we have with everything else, we are adapting while still trying our best to safely keep the festivities going. So buy some bottles of Chardonnay and host your own taste testing, celebrate with family and friends, or join a virtual celebration this Thursday!
Chardonnay is widely known for its incredible versatility and flavor range, so this year when celebrating, pick up some diverse bottles, such as: French oak aged Chardonnay, American oak aged Chardonnay, young Chardonnay, and sparkling Chardonnay.
Shop in our Online Wine Store and pick out some of your favorite Chardonnays!
P.S. Don’t forget to post photos on social media with the Chardonnay Day hashtags: #ChardonnayDay, #NationalChardonnayDay, #InternationalChardonnayDay, and #ChardDay, and have a wonderful wine celebration!