In California, chardonnay vines tell a story


Every country that produces wine grows Chardonnay – no other white grape can match its international popularity. It has been the green variety of choice for winegrowers around the world for centuries thanks to its qualitative potential and its ability to adapt to a wide range of soils and wine-growing climates.

In California, four out of five Chardonnay vines are “Wente clones” whose ancestors were imported from France in 1912 by Ernest Wente. Grapes made from seeds are too unpredictable to be used in viticulture. Instead, winemakers “clone” existing vines in order to get the exact grape variety and characteristics they need. A cutting is taken from a mature plant and grafted onto a rootstock, which turns into a new, genetically identical vine.

When Wente ordered cuttings from France’s premier wine-growing university, he received a number of different “clones” from the native Burgundy of Chardonnay. Not all of them have adapted well to the California climate, so Wente carefully selected the best of the best vines to propagate on his vineyard in what is now the East Bay region near Oakland. These vines have been so successful that over 75 percent of California Chardonnay vines are their direct descendants.

As a result, Wente Vineyards remains the chardonnay specialist, producing exceptional wines from a number of sub-regions of the central California coast. This Monterey cuvée outperforms for its price, with succulent flavors of nectarines and apple cake, enhanced with aromas of toasted oak reminiscent of amaretto liqueur.

$ 15.99, 13.5% alcohol

PLCB Item # 9537

Sale price until January 2, 2022 (regularly $ 19.99)

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