What makes English Chardonnay so unique?

When I say ‘chardonnay’, I wonder what you have in mind? Is it the Châteaus of Burgundy where this green skinned grape dominates?  Is it the heart of Napa Valley, where chardonnay is second only to Californian Cabernet Sauvignon? Or is it, like it is for us at RiSE,  the rolling English countryside

English vineyards

@raouldp (We love this photo, a view of Dorking from Denbies Vineyard!) 

From Cornwall to Kent, to Yorkshire, the chardonnay grape is growing and being converted into tasty tipples. In fact, chardonnay makes up over 23% of all vines planted in England . It thrives in both cool and warm climates, which has led it to become the most popular grape variety in England.  But if you have not yet had the pleasure of tasting English chardonnay with a RiSE wine subscription, you might be in for a little surprise. It stands out from the crowd, and here’s how. 

Chardonnay adopts flavours from the ‘terroir’ which is all of the environmental factors around the vine, including soil, topography and the climate. Therefore what’s grown on our wonderful island, differs wildly from other chard’s. 

RiSE English wine Chardonnay

Celina Albertz

Chardonnay that is grown in a cooler climate (like ours!) has a medium body, compared with more full bodied chardonnays grown in warmer climates. The flavour of English chardonnay is also more of a crisp and mineral flavor, often with notes of green fruits, such as green apples, pears, and green plums. In French chardonnays, the flavor is fruitier, with notes of citrus fruits, peach and melon. If we go even warmer with the climate, such as those made from Australian and New Zealand vines, the chardonnay will harbour more tropical flavors like mango, fig, and banana! 


RiSE English wine subscription


Due to these flavours, a lot of people are likening English chardonnay to a Sauvignon Blanc. You can read more about the taste of English chardonnay through these tasting notes by Great British Wine. Or for first hand experience, why not sign up to a RiSE English wine box, and enjoy a refreshing glass of chardonnay and other home grown wines, first hand! 


1 comment

  • Stephen Skelton MW

    You say “Chardonnay adopts flavours from the ‘terroir’” but fail to mention acidity. Surely English Chardonnays are all about acid? How it develops and ripens, picking levels, malic/tartaric balance, MLF, age on lees, dosage, barrel fermentation, battonage etc etc.

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