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My Unconventional Chardonnay!

Many customers have commented about the unconventional addition of Grüner Veltliner to my Adelaide Hills Chardonnay. They have also commented that it tastes quite refreshing for a Chardonnay and not heavy like some more traditional Chardonnays. In this post I want to discuss the changing profile of Chardonnay, what is Grüner Veltliner and why I blended a small portion (1.5%) into my 2015 Adelaide Hills Chardonnay.

I was still studying winemaking in the early 2000’s and too young to remember the highly oaked, overtly ripe, buttery Chardonnay’s that took the world by storm in the late 80’s early 90’s. Over the last 15 years, I have been playing around with Chardonnay and while making commercial Chardonnay in the Riverland for export to America, I worked under a winemaker called Allan Harris of Rothbury Estate fame. He introduced me to the benefits of adding aromatic white grape varieties (Riesling, Sav Blanc, Traminer or Pinot Grigio) to Chardonnay increasing the wines’ aroma (nose). It also has the secondary benefit of increasing the natural acidity of the wine, making the wine finish refreshingly crisp.

Grüner Veltliner (Green Veltliner) is an aromatic white grape variety indigenous to Austria that is particularly food friendly. It is generally made into wines intended for drinking young with flavours of citrus and peach, minerally undertones and spicy notes of pepper and sometimes tobacco. Due to the high volatile aroma and acidity, it is the perfect addition to lift the aroma and create freshness in the Chardonnay.

Enjoy the Unconventional - JP

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