Die weltberühmte Rebsorte Chardonnay ist im deutschsprachigen Raum auch als Feinburgunder bekannt. Der Anbauanteil der Chardonnay in der Champagne liegt bei ca. 26%. Die Region Côte des Blancs ist das primäre Anbaugebiet. Im Gegensatz zur blauen Pinot Noir und zur ebenfalls blauen Pinot Meunier handelt es sich beim Chardonnay um eine ‚weiße‘ bzw. anfangs gelblich-grüne und letztlich in voller Reife gold-gelbe Traube.
The Chardonnay grape variety is sensitive to frost. It also buds out earlier than the Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier varieties. This grape variety also prefers a lot of sun.
Thus, the Chardonnay is to be understood as somewhat more demanding in cultivation. However, it produces wonderful Blanc de Blancs and Cuvées. Chardonnay grapes give champagnes a tasteful finesse as well as a fresh, pleasant fragrance, which can remind of the blossoms of camomile, jasmine, violets, orange, roses and much more.
The original home of the Chardonnay grape is disputed. There are many indications that the Pinot grape family from Burgundy is related to the Heunisch grape. Moreover, there are also suppositions that the Chardonnay was possibly introduced to France from Lebanon by the crusades. Historical research by Claude Taittinger traces the origin of the first Chardonnay vines back to the minstrel Thibaud, who discovered them in 1240 on his return from the Crusades in Cyprus and consequently brought Chardonnay cuttings to his native Champagne. The successful spread of the grape variety in Champagne and Burgundy is mainly attributed to the Benedictine monks.