Like many other ancient grape varieties, Chardonnay stems from the Middle East.
As viticulture spread, the variety found a new home in France, particularly in Burgundy. Chardonnay is one of the most popular grape varieties in the world. The cultivation of Chardonnay has been officially permitted in Germany since 1991. In the meantime, more than 600 ha (ca. 1,500 acres) have been planted and it accounts for 0.6% of Germany's total vineyard area.
A wide range of aromas are typical for Chardonnay, e.g. melons, exotic fruits, overripe gooseberries or slightly underripe apples. Higher qualities are usually rich in alcohol and extract. They are wines of substance, with a long finish, and often vinified in Barrique casks.