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On the Way to German Chardonnay 2.0

Photo Credit Tilo Wiedensohler

On the Way to German Chardonnay 2.0

by Christoph Raffelt


Roughly five years ago, a group of sommeliers, journalists, and ambitious wine aficionados gathered in Hamburg to dig deep into one of the world’s great grapes. The idea was to offer an overview of what Germany had to offer in this illustrious circle of high-class wines. We called it Cool Climate Chardonnay.


Burgundy’s supremacy in terms of diversity of regions, sites, and above all experience barely needs mention here. Yet around the globe, growers have sharpened the focus on this grape variety, emerging from Burgundy's shadows and into the sunshine. No one went into the tasting thinking a German Chardonnay would earn spontaneous applause, or that wines such as Tolpuddle and Neudorf, Etienne Sauzet, and a Corton-Charlemagne from Chandon de Briailles, Sandhi, Hirsch or Kumeu would quietly shuffle into the background. And yet: it was apparently exactly the right moment for a seed to sprout. A seed that today is in glorious bloom. 

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