The name “Chardonnay” has been linked to a village in the Mâcon region of southern Burgundy and is derived from Cardonnacum, which means “a place of chardons” or thistles. In California, in 1960 it was estimated that merely 150 acres were planted to Chardonnay, but by 2000 there were 103,491 acres reported, making it the state’s most widely planted wine grape variety.
Noble Vines 446 is named for vine selection 4, grown at block 46 in our vineyard in San Bernabe, Monterey. This is a splendidly sunny, cool site with well-drained sandy loam soils that have a solicitous effect on the grapes.
Chardonnay vine stock 4, sometimes known as the “Martini clone”, was cultivated by Napa Valley winemaker Louis Martini in the cool climate vineyards of Carneros. It was the first registered commercial Chardonnay in California (1969). Its distinctively tropical fruit profile features pineapple and mango aromas and flavors, along with the potential for more typical Chardonnay flavors such as green apple, citrus, and stone fruit (peaches, nectarines, and apricots). The particular aromas and flavors are reflective of site-specific growing conditions and are also heavily influenced by choices in winemaking techniques such as barrel or stainless steel fermentation, secondary (malo-lactic) fermentation, and barrel aging. There is usually a thick mouth-filling texture in the finished wines.