Chardonnay grape variety
Chardonnay is one of the most popular and famous grape varieties in the world. This plant is distinguished by almost ideal production and taste characteristics, therefore it is often considered a reference variety of white grapes. Despite the fact that this variety is often technical, many grow it at home, although this will require a lot of attention and hard work. This article will describe the main features of Chardonnay grapes, as well as its basic requirements.
Origin of the variety
Chardonnay is considered one of the oldest industrial varieties used by man for many decades. Accurate information on the history of selection of this variety is not available, but according to generally accepted information, the plant is native to Burgundy, a small region in the eastern part of France. This grape was obtained by chance, in the process of natural mutation and crossing among themselves the Pinot Noir and Gué Blanc grapes.
Did you know? In 1984, in Chile, local vine growers gathered a record bunch of grapes, its mass was 9.4 kg. The result remains unbeaten to this day.
Description of Chardonnay grape variety
This plant belongs to the group of West European grape hybrids that are distinguished by their thermophilicity, as well as the need for a certain microclimate. This feature strongly affected the morphological properties of the variety, which was reflected not only in the appearance of leaves and shoots, but also on the characteristics of the crop.
In front of the gardener "Chardonnay" opens as a medium or tall, branched bush. Its brown shoots are devoid of knots. The leaves on the vine are light green, but with age, their shade can change to grayish green.
The leaf is often small, rounded, almost whole, however, in its morphology, a division into 5 blades is clearly visible. The leaf is characterized by cobwebly pubescence, while on the lower part it is almost imperceptible or absent.
After flowering, in the place of bush inflorescences, neat clusters of regular conical shape, small sizes are formed. The average length of the bunch is about 11 cm, the width is not more than 10 cm (at the base).
Due to the peculiarities of the development of flowers, the Chardonnay inflorescences are often showered, this helps to reduce the number of berries in a bunch by one third. Due to this, it is quite loose, but resistant to mechanical stress. The average mass of a bunch is 900–1000 g.
Technical grape varieties also include:
Description of berries
The berry is often small or medium in size, weighing about 10-12 g. Its shape is round, slightly elongated, while the peel is thin but dense. The pulp is fleshy, juicy, contains about 2-3 brown seeds.
The color of the berries is pale green or light green, slightly yellowish on the more illuminated side, but often the color can change to a lighter, greenish-white shade. The variety is characterized by a light waxy coating on the berries. The taste of berries is harmonious, moderate, with an excellent combination of sourness and sweetness, as well as a muscat aftertaste.
"Chardonnay" is one of the most valuable and useful plants. This grape has a whole range of nutrients, as well as unique technical characteristics. In addition, the fruits of the plant can be used for any food processing, while they do not lose their original aroma and taste, regardless of the final product. Did you know? The most expensive in the world is the Roman Ruby grape variety; the price for a fresh bunch of berries of this plant can reach up to 11 thousand US dollars.
Composition and calorie content
As with other representatives of the grape, the fruits of this variety are low in calories. 100 g of product contains only 60 kcal, while dry matter in this volume accounts for:
- proteins - 0, 55 g;
- fats - 0.08 g;
- carbohydrates - 14.8 g.
The berries of the culture contain the following useful substances:
|Substance||% of the total mass|
|Antioxidants (phenolic compounds)||6|
Benefits and contraindications
Grapes are one of the most valuable fruit crops for humans, so doctors and nutritionists advise to feast on grape berries at any age.
- They contribute to:
- strengthening the heart and cardiovascular system;
- improving the robots of the lymphatic system;
- prevention of Alzheimer's disease;
- strengthening the nervous system and preventing age-related degeneration of nerve fibers;
- vision improvement;
- optimization of the liver and gastrointestinal tract;
- diabetes prevention;
- protecting the prostate gland from cancer cells (in men);
- activation of immunity;
- normalization of liver and kidney robots;
- have an antioxidant effect.
However, the fruits of the plant can also adversely affect the body.
- To avoid the irritating effect of the active components of berries on the body, their use must be abandoned when:
- diabetes and obesity, as they contain a high percentage of sugars;
- colitis accompanied by diarrhea;
- pleurisy in the acute stage;
- stomatitis, gingivitis and other pathologies of the oral cavity;
- acute tuberculosis;
- pregnancy and while breastfeeding (may cause allergies in the baby).
Read more about the benefits and harms of white grapes, as well as whether grapes can be eaten with pancreatitis and diabetes.
The acidity of this variety is medium. Under optimal growing conditions, the indicator is in the range of 8–11 g / l. At the same time, the berry is characterized by high sugar content, the amount of sugar relative to the total weight of the fruits reaches 18–22%.
Advantages and disadvantages of the variety "Chardonnay"
- The main advantages of the variety over analogues:
- a huge number of clones that make it possible to get a crop with the necessary taste and production characteristics;
- resistance to drought;
- fragrant fruits, rich in exquisite bouquet of tastes;
- versatility, grapes can be used for any production purposes;
- Excellent quality grape products, including alcoholic beverages.
- It has a plant and disadvantages, the main ones are:
- low productivity (not more than 40% of biological potential);
- plant and crop are often affected by fungi;
- even with a short excess of moisture, the berries crack;
- the variety is demanding on the conditions of maintenance, as well as soil fertility;
- low frost resistance, especially during spring frosts.
"Chardonnay" is, first of all, a technical variety of grapes, therefore, most often its fruits are used for the preparation of a variety of food products. Often, these include all kinds of alcoholic beverages, which the plant enriches with a harmonious taste and a refined aftertaste.
However, not many people know what color such wine is and what features it differs. Most often, the berries of this plant find their application during the preparation of white wines.
Particular attention should be paid to the production of champagne or sparkling wines from this grape. Despite the fact that its fruits do not have a sharp and full-bodied taste, during the preparation of a drink such a wine material is able to easily undergo any exposure to a winemaker and instantly acquire the necessary qualities. That is why derivatives of this grape are often used to improve and emphasize the main taste of sparkling wines. Learn more about how to make wine from white grapes.
Chardonnay grapes have been successfully cultivated for many centuries in regions with a mild climate, therefore, the cultivation of this plant will require appropriate conditions. The most attention should be paid to the planting procedure: in order for the plant to feel good, you need to choose not only the right place, but also the best time for this.
This grape is planted in autumn, in early October, or in spring, in the first half of March. Spring planting is the best for growing crops. This is explained by the fact that during this period there is a natural activation of plant organisms after hibernation.
It consists in accelerated doubling of cells and metabolism, which causes instant rooting of the cuttings, as well as their adaptation to the environment. Winter planting is used only in the southern latitudes, otherwise in winter weakly rooted grapes will freeze.
Important! To avoid freezing of young seedlings in a temperate or colder climate, they are planted to a depth of at least 60–80 cm.
This plant belongs to the species of medium ripening period, from the beginning of the growing season to fruiting no more than 140 days pass. In this case, a prerequisite for an early technical ripeness of berries is the total temperature for a period of at least 2700 ° C.
This grape is one of the few plants that, when cultivated, does not require specialized care. In order for the variety to produce high-quality fruits and rich harvests, plants require a standard set of agricultural practices and measures. At the same time, care should be taken carefully, since even a short neglect of this can drastically reduce the final yield of ripe fruits. We recommend reading how to transplant grapes correctly.
How to water Chardonnay grapes
This variety does not like excess moisture, but watering is important for it, since a lack of moisture can inhibit the growth and fruiting of the vine. Young plants are watered every week, adults - no more than 1 time in 2 weeks.
For irrigation use clean well-maintained water, heated to ambient temperature. Cold water is undesirable for watering grapes, as it can cause depression of immunity and a cold of the bush. At the end of autumn, watering is stopped, from this moment the vineyard is prepared for a long wintering.
Grapes are watered under the root, however, the plant responds best to abundant irrigation of not only soil, but also shoots, as well as foliage. Depending on the age of the bush, 5 to 20 liters of water are used for the procedure.
We advise you to find out why grapes decay, as well as why grape berries wilt on the bush.
Pruning of grapes is carried out to form a crown or for sanitary purposes. Sanitary pruning is carried out in early autumn or spring, during the procedure on the bush old and non-viable shoots are removed, as well as excess branches that reduce the yield of the plant.
Also, thinning of shoots is carried out during the summer, which helps to accelerate the ripening of the crop and its quality. During the growing season, it is necessary to monitor the load of the bush, the clusters on the fruiting shoots should be evenly distributed, without burdening the bush.
The plants are molded in autumn and spring, combining the procedure with sanitary pruning. The shape of the future bush is determined, first of all, by the temperature regime of the growing area. In warm regions with a mild climate, small bushes 60 cm long are created from vines. In the temperate zone, they prefer to grow crops on adult lignified shoots, which helps to shorten the ripening period. Read what should be the correct pruning of grapes in the spring.
When trimming Chardonnay, you must always adhere to the following recommendations:
- the optimal length of the bush should be in the range of 65-120 cm;
- green shoots of plants should always hang down freely;
- each bush should contain no more than 4 fruitful links;
- no more than 12 viable buds should be left on grapes;
- the clusters should not shade, so all excess foliage must be removed.
Mulching of the culture is carried out in order to protect the vineyard from drying out, and also to create a special microclimate in the soil that favorably affects the development of shoots of the bush and berries. In addition, mulching helps protect the root system from freezing, which is quite important for all vineyards from temperate and northern latitudes.
The procedure is carried out immediately after the snow melts, or 7-10 days after planting the cuttings. For this, the root layer of the bush is covered with a special covering material, the so-called mulch. Its role can be played by a 10-15 cm layer of chopped straw, hay, sawdust, coconut bark and so on. They can be replaced with special agrofibre made of polymer materials.
Important! "Chardonnay" successfully bears fruit only in mild and moderately humid climates, excessive moisture causes cracking of the fruit and putrefactive damage to the root system.
Chardonnay bushes are considered resistant to various ailments of grape plants, so they are rarely affected by such pathologies. However, in temperate latitudes, the plant often suffers from excessive moisture, which creates a favorable environment for the development of the main enemies of the culture - fungal infections.
The main diseases of grapes and methods for their prevention:
|Powdery mildew||It appears as a light fluffy coating mainly white. It affects the fruits and the most juicy parts of the plant.||Every 10 days, from the beginning of the growing season, until the appearance of full-fledged berries, the bushes are sprayed with Antracol, Bordeaux liquid, Kuproksat, Ridomil or copper chloride.|
|Oidium||Light smoky coating that affects fruits and berries.||In spring, grapes and the root zone of the soil are treated with the Azofos fungicide, throughout the growing season the vineyard is sprayed once a month with a solution of colloidal sulfur.|
|Gray rot||Gray plaque on leaves and fruits.||Once a month throughout the entire growing season, the bush is sprayed with a solution of Anthracol, Acrobat, Kuprosat, Ridomil or Thanos.|
Chardonnay is one of the most popular and famous wine varieties on the planet. Its main advantage is aromatic fruits, distinguished by a deep taste and all kinds of aftertaste shades. The plant is not high-yielding, however, due to the unique technical properties of berries, this grape has won many connoisseurs of an exquisite wine drink.