Fog Crest Vineyard
May 22, 2019 | Wine | Fog Crest Vineyard

Every Day is Chardonnay Day at Fog Crest Vineyard

As there are “days” for everything, so there is a “National Chardonnay Day”, set aside in May of every year, thanks to the efforts of branding guru, Rick Bakas.

But as you might expect, every day is Chardonnay Day at Fog Crest Vineyard. Let’s have a closer look at the wine grape that so intrigues us.

Chardonnay originated in the Burgundy wine region of eastern France, but is now widely planted in just about every wine region of the world. It can be vinified in many different styles from lean, crisp, mineraly, to lush and oaky. It can present on the palate with notes of green apple, pear, citrus, peach, melon - even fig and tropical fruit notes can come out. Wines that have gone through malolactic fermentation will have a buttery mouthfeel with notes of toasted bread and hazelnut. Chardonnay is also one of the important grapes used in the production of Champagne in France and Franciacorta in Italy.

Depending on one’s exposure to the myriad expressions of Chardonnay from around the world, it’s easy for someone to say, “I love Chardonnay” or “I don’t like Chardonnay”. Jim’s goal when we first got started was to produce a variety of elegant Chardonnays, convinced that there was a great Chardonnay experience available for every white wine lover.

Here in the Russian River Valley American Viticultural Area of Sonoma County we are blessed with optimal growing conditions for Chardonnay. Our vines are planted in soils dominated by the Wilson Grove formation, a sandstone ridge that used to be beachfront property, 3-5 million years ago. The sandy loam soils have long been favored by the area’s agricultural community. Our early morning fog kissed vines are planted on rolling hills with a south/east exposure, providing for both excellent drainage and full morning sun, so necessary in the cool valley.

After the sunny days of summer, the early fall brings the harvest of our Chardonnay. The plump fruit is hand-harvested in the early morning hours to keep the fruit cool. The grapes are pressed as whole clusters and fermented primarily in new Burgundian oak barrels using indigenous yeasts. The wine is bottled, unfiltered, early in the following year, approximately 18 months after harvest.

Fog Crest Vineyard ChardonnayOur family of Chardonnays continues to grow as we explore block and vineyard designated bottlings with our talented winemaker, Jérôme Chéry, at the helm. He brings his old world knowledge to our new world region and the resulting wines, we believe, provide that great Chardonnay experience for every taster - Jim’s vision. And what does Jim fantasize about tasting? Well he does get that faraway look in his eye when he thinks about Domaine Arnaud Ente Meursault “Clos des Ambres”. 


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