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Chardonnay Hunter Valley

Of all the white wine grape varietals, surely the one which has spread the furthest and is most widely appreciated is the Chardonnay. This green skinned grape is now grown all over the Old and New Worlds, from New Zealand to the Americas, from England to Chile, and is one of the first varietals people think of when considering white wine grapes. Perhaps this is because of its huge popularity which reached a peak in the 1990s, thanks to new technologies combining with traditional methods to bring the very best features out of the Chardonnay grape, and allow its unique qualities to shine through. Most fine Chardonnay wines use a process known as malolactic fermentation, wherein the malic acids in the grape juice are converted to lactic acids, allowing a creamier, buttery nature to come forward in the wine. No grape varietal is better suited to this process than Chardonnay, which manages to balance these silky, creamy notes with fresh white fruit flavors beautifully.
Commercial Australian winemaking first thrived here in 1825. "The Hunter," as it's known locally, is 100 miles from Sydney, the best known of NSW's wine districts and a popular tourist destination. The lower Hunter Valley is hot and damp and frankly better suited for cattle than grapes. Nonetheless it is known for Semillon, Shiraz and Chardonnay. The Upper Hunter Valley also produces Chardonnay, Semillon, and others; the dry whites are known for their richness and depth.