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.
Lebanon is a fascinating country when it comes to wine and viticulture, with a history which stretches back to the ancient Phoenicians and civilizations which traded in wine over five thousand years ago. Indeed, the ancient Egyptian Pharaohs were enormous fans of Lebanese wines, and there is plenty of archaeological evidence supporting the fact that Lebanon routinely exported their fine produce around the known world. Today, the number of Lebanese wineries is on the increase, as more and more demand for Lebanese wines results in a renewed vigor for viticulture across the country. Although most grape varietals currently grown there are of French origin, there is also increased interest in the indigenous produce of the country, which is prompting many vintners to begin processing older, more unique grape varietals once again.