The origins of this great variety are not clear. Recent DNA fingerprinting has pointed in the direction of the Pinot family.
Chardonnay was originally a Burgundy variety but has now spread to every major wine region of the world. This variety is easy to grow and tends to be easily manipulated during vinification for varied results. Chardonnay can be exceptional when treated properly in the vineyard and in the winery, yielding wines that are balanced and complex with good longevity. Care must be taken when aging Chardonnay on oak as the oak character can easily dominate the flavor profile to the point of being out of balance. Malolactic fermentation often helps to soften the profile as well as adding a buttery note.