On Chardonnay Day, which is celebrated annually on the Thursday before Memorial Day in the U.S., and the Thursday before the last Monday in May in other parts of the world, we are focusing on one of the best white wines in history. This year, it falls on May 23. Chardonnay is a grape variety used in producing Chardonnay white wines which are considered to be one of the most refined-tasting white wines and a winemaker’s favorite. It is created from the crossing of two of the most prestigious grape varieties — Pinot noir and Gouais blanc. This holiday is a social media event that started slightly over a decade ago, encouraging people across the world to add some Chardonnay flavor to their lives.
History of Chardonnay Day
Wine lovers across the world come together to celebrate a special variety of wines today that is highly valued by wine connoisseurs and winemakers across the globe. That’s right, we are talking about none other than Chardonnay!
An interesting fact to note about the main attraction today, as well as many other grape-variety-titled wines, is that its name actually belongs to the grape variety used in wine production. This means that, in this case, Chardonnay is a grape variety used in the production of white wine, rather than a name of a wine brand.
It is green-skinned in color, hailing from the Burgundy wine region of eastern France. Chardonnay is a winemaker’s favorite because of its neutral taste which provides a wide range of creative possibilities. It is also a terroir wine, meaning that its taste is highly influenced by the environmental conditions of where it is grown.
In cooler climates, Chardonnay can present a taste of apple, pear, or green plum, while its flavors become more citrus, melon, or even tropical in warmer regions. This top-tier grape variety can also differ in taste due to the application of oak and other fruit flavors in its fermentation or vinification methods.
Chardonnay is said to have originated from a crossing of the Pinot noir and nearly extinct Gouais Blanc grape varieties. It gained massive popularity in the late 1900s, and growing Chardonnay is now considered a right of passage to new winemakers across the world.
Chardonnay Day was created by Rick Bakas to boost sales in the wine industry after the bank crisis of 2008. It was meticulously slotted around National Wine Day and the Thursday before Memorial Day to keep up the celebratory spirits.
Chardonnay Day timeline
The first written mentions of Chardonnay are discovered.
New World Chardonnay is rewarded in the famous Paris wine tasting tour.
Chardonnay gains massive popularity in the wine industry.
Rick Bakas creates Chardonnay Day as a social media event.
Chardonnay Day FAQs
Is there a Chardonnay red wine?
As much as we would love to get this grape variety in all the flavors possible, red is just not an option. The fruit itself comes only in the green-skinned white variety and can only be used to produce white wine, or added to create bubbly wine.
Is Chardonnay dry?
Chardonnay in itself is used to create dry white wine. However, its taste may vary due to terrier, oak, or vinification methods. Therefore, it may also be used to create other sweet white wine variants or sparkling wine like Champagne.
What country grows the most Chardonnay?
France is the top producer of Chardonnay, with over 44,000 hectares planted annually. In fact, Chardonnay is the second most planted grape variety in the country, coming second to Ugni blanc. Coming in a close second in terms of production is the United States, and after that is Australia.
Chardonnay Day Activities
Drink some Chardonnay
Of course, the best and most logical way to celebrate a day such as this will be to have a taste yourself. This is an international celebration, so make sure you aren’t left behind. Pop open your favorite bottle of Chardonnay, or Chardonnay-flavored wine and have a glass. You can make it even more interesting by inviting friends and family over for a small wine tasting event.
Cook with Chardonnay
This white wine variety is good for many things, and cooking just happens to be one of them. There are several recipes available online that include the use of white wine, and even more specifically, Chardonnay itself. So whether it's a seafood boil or a ribeye roast, make sure you are putting chardonnay to good use and sharpening your culinary skills while at it.
Visit a winery
Another great way to get involved in Chardonnay Day is trying your hand at making some yourself. Book an appointment to visit a vineyard closest to you to see how this grape variety is grown and produced for wine. Make sure you bring friends and family in on it because the more the merrier.
5 Interesting Facts About Chardonnay
It’s one of the most popular grapes
Chardonnay is the second most widely planted grape variety for white wine in the world with 210,000 hectares worldwide.
It’s sparkles too
Chardonnay is used in producing still wines, as well as sparkling and sweet wines.
It is named after a village
This grape variety is named after the village of Chardonnay in the Mâcon region of Burgundy.
The Queen made it popular
The wife of Emperor Charlemagne instructed white grapes to be planted in their Burgundy vineyard to stop her husband’s beard from getting stained by red wine.
It’s a best-seller
Chardonnay is the best-selling wine in America with over 840,000 bottles consumed per year.
Why We Love Chardonnay Day
It’s the perfect excuse to drink wine
It’s no surprise that our first reason to love this day is that it gives everyone a perfect reason to ease off on a glass or two of wine. Chardonnay Day offers a day free of judgments to sit back, relax and enjoy some wine.
Chardonnay deserves it
Chardonnay is an old, very popular grape variety that has given us so many amazing bottles of wine for every palette — still, sparkling or sweet. It deserves a celebratory day all for itself, and this day is set aside just for that.
It’s a social media event
Chardonnay Day was started as a social media event, gaining massive popularity across platforms and regions of the world. We particularly love this quality as it makes celebrating super easy and accessible to people across the world. All you need to do is use the hashtags #ChardDay, #ChardonnayDay, #NationalChardonnayDay, or #InternationalChardonnayDay to join in on the conversation.
Chardonnay Day dates