Technique

Chardonnay Winemaking Tips from Burgundy

Being a lover of Pinot Noir, I am intrigued and mystified by Burgundy. During my visit to Burgundy as part of a film crew working on a television series about wine, I had the chance to visit many world-renowned domaines. I tasted in the cellar from the barrel and of course, I was blown away by some magnificent wines! I expected to taste amazing reds, and I did. What I didn’t expect was how shockingly, astonishingly, unfathomably delicious the whites are. The Grape White Burgundy is Chardonnay, plain and simple. In fact, by French law, it must be 100% Chardonnay. (Pinot Noir is the predominant red grape, but other reds — including Gamay and Aligoté — are allowed and are grown in small quantities. A majority of the wine grape acreage in Burgundy is planted with red grapes.) Good white Burgundy, though, has pretty much nothing in common with what we Americans think of as Chardonnay. The incredible citrus/peach/floral/mineral nose and the corresponding delicate flavors . . . they are like nothing I had ever experienced. White Burgundy completely changed