Thursday 26 May 2011 was International #Chardonnay Day! I saw this event being advertised by Rick Bakas the first director of social media in the wine industry in April 2011 when he toured Australia, as he kicked off this trend of themed wine days in November 2009 – the first #chardonnay day was in May 2010. Rick’s description of the why and how of these #wine days is explained in his article #Chardonnay Day Recap.
In Adelaide this baton was taken up by the Qwoff Boys and they have done a fantastic job publicising it and getting people involved. In New Zealand, the key contributor was Jayson Bryant. I was absolutely delighted to be invited along to Qwoff HQ to mix and mingle with winemakers, marketers, academics, and general wine lovers to try, to talk about and to tweet about the chardonnays on offer – about 150 of them but who’s counting!
The slideshow below shows just a portion of the wines on offer and the evident fun of the day! The Twitter page for #chardonnay was turning over rapidly, as we could all watch – Andre and Justin had the tweets projected onto the wall for all to see – a great way to remember which were your wines of the night.
The standouts for me and I was in agreement with most of the people I talked to –
Pepper Tree 2009 Venus Block from Orange – soft butterscotch with some mild smokiness on the nose and lipsmacking acid. Superb!
Second was the One Ball chardonnay from BK Wines, 2010 Adelaide Hills – and the winemaker was there to thank! A crisp perry-like nose with soft, slightly nutty palate, which was dry and crisp on the finish with great length.
Third in the Australian line-up in my humble opinion was the Chapoutier 2009 Pyrenees which was the winner of the night for elegance. Crisp, fresh and light, with juicy sweet white peach on the palate, and a long finish.
I have to add a fourth place in my Australian line-up for the Tempus Two 2009 Wilde Chardonnay – the wild ferment from natural yeasts gave it a funky and complex character.
New Zealand was well represented by two chardonnays from Waipara Valley in the South Island – Muddy Water and Greystone – both had great intensity balanced with elegance.
No wonder chardonnay continues to be the most planted grape variety in the world!