Chardonnay is a green-skinned grape variety used in the production of white and sparkling wine. The variety originated in the Burgundy wine region, but is now grown wherever wine is produced, from England to New Zealand. For new and developing wine regions, growing Chardonnay can be seen as a "rite of passage" and an easy entry into the international wine market.
The Chardonnay grape itself is fairly neutral, with many of the flavours commonly associated with the wine being derived from such influences as terroir and oak. It is vinified in many different styles, from the lean, crisply mineral wines of Chablis, France, to New World wines with oak and tropical fruit flavours. In cool climates (such as Chablis and the Carneros AVA of California), Chardonnay wine tends to be medium to light body with noticeable acidity and flavours of green plum, apple, and pear. In warmer locations (such as the Adelaide Hills), the flavours become more citrus, peach, and melon, while in very warm locations (such as the Central Coast AVA of California), more fig and tropical fruit notes such as banana and mango come out. Wines that have gone through malolactic fermentation tend to have softer acidity and fruit flavours with buttery mouthfeel and hazelnut notes.