About this WINE
Central Coast AVA is an all-encompassing appellation used for wines blended across several counties in the broader central coast viticultural region.
The associated counties (and their AVAs) are Alameda (Livermore Valley); Contra Costa; Monterey (Arroyo Seco, Carmel Valley, Chalone, San Lucas); San Benito (Cienega Valley, Lime Kiln Valley, Mount Harlan, Paicines); San Luis Obispo (Arroyo Grande, Edna Valley, Paso Robles, York Mountain); Santa Clara Valley (most of Santa Cruz Mountains, San Ysidro); and Santa Barbara (Santa Maria Valley, Santa Ynez Valley).
Chardonnay is the "Big Daddy" of white wine grapes and one of the most widely planted in the world. It is suited to a wide variety of soils, though it excels in soils with a high limestone content as found in Champagne, Chablis, and the Côte D`Or.
Burgundy is Chardonnay's spiritual home and the best White Burgundies are dry, rich, honeyed wines with marvellous poise, elegance and balance. They are unquestionably the finest dry white wines in the world. Chardonnay plays a crucial role in the Champagne blend, providing structure and finesse, and is the sole grape in Blanc de Blancs.
It is quantitatively important in California and Australia, is widely planted in Chile and South Africa, and is the second most widely planted grape in New Zealand. In warm climates Chardonnay has a tendency to develop very high sugar levels during the final stages of ripening and this can occur at the expense of acidity. Late picking is a common problem and can result in blowsy and flabby wines that lack structure and definition.
Recently in the New World, we have seen a move towards more elegant, better- balanced and less oak-driven Chardonnays, and this is to be welcomed.