Grape varieties

Chardonnay

America's favorite white wine also is Washington's. It's the most-planted grape in the Columbia Valley and results in wines of many styles, from steely, fruit-driven bottlings to big, oaky ventures. If you like Chardonnay, you’ll love Washington wine country.

Chardonnay is the No. 3 grape in Oregon, after Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. Oregon producers spend a lot of time on clonal selection and work hard to find just the right versions of the grape that will excel in the cooler climates of the Willamette Valley.

In British Columbia and Idaho, Chardonnay is a different grape than elsewhere. The wines tend to be more fruit-driven, less oaky and higher in natural acidity, making them perfect for seafood.

This story was originally published June 16, 2012 4:46 PM.

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