Chardonnay, Friuli-Venezia Giulia

Chardonnay is planted in almost every region in the world and makes a wide variety of wine styles from light-bodied, crisp and unoaked through to full-bodied, complex barrel matured versions. Chardonnay is an adaptable variety and can be grown in cool regions as well as warm areas. It is a productive, early budding and early ripening variety.

Chardonnay first came to Australia in the 1920s but didn’t find popularity until the 1970s. Grown all across the country the cool climate versions (like found in the Yarra Valley and Tasmania) tend to be lighter in body with higher acidity and more subtle flavours. Warm climate versions (found in Margaret River, Hunter Valley and the Adelaide Hills) tend to be more full-bodied with richer, riper fruit and bolder flavours.
The north-eastern Italian region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia ranks with Tuscany and Piedmont in terms of quality of output. Nearly 62% of the wine produced in the region falls under a DOC designation - there are 11 DOC and 3 DOCG regions.

The best vineyards in the region are in the foothills of the Alps, facing south to receive direct sunlight and cool evening breezes blowing off the Adriatic. The soil is rich in calcium and sandstone, with patches of sand and gravel.

The region's output is about 60% white and 40% red. Friulano is the most famous variety, known for creating crisp, floral whites with great ageing potential, and Merlot is the leading red wine grape. There has also been a revival of orange wine in the region of the past decade.
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