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What’s the world’s most popular white grape variety? Occupying 518,900 acres worldwide, Chardonnay is the fifth-most-planted wine grape, and the wines made from this noble grape appear in just about every cellar and on just about every wine list in the world (not to mention the fact that it’s one of the three primary grapes in champagne). 

From its legendary origins in Burgundy, France, Chardonnay is now grown nearly everywhere wine is produced, from Australia and Argentina to California and Chile and beyond. Winemakers love Chardonnay because it is sturdy and relatively easy to grow. “And since its flavors are not as distinctive as other varieties such as Riesling or sauvignon blanc, Chardonnay has a ‘blank canvas’ aspect that allows winemakers to flex their technique and leave their own imprint on the wine,” says The Washington Post writer Dave McIntyre.

But is all Chardonnay created equal? From oaked to unoaked, how does this sought-after green-skinned grape vary from producer to producer, region to region, winemaking style to winemaking style? 

In this course, sommelier Leslee Miller will take you on an in-depth tour of Chardonnay, exploring the subregions of its Burgundy birthplace as well as some of its more obscure growing regions, including Lebanon, Mexico, and England.  

No wine experience is necessary. A $30 fee, payable to the instructor at the first class, will cover the cost of wine for all sessions.

Leslee Miller is a dually certified sommelier through the International Sommelier Guild and the Court of Master Sommeliers. She is a former director of Archery Summit Winery of the Willamette Valley and acted as a member to the board of directors for Archery Summit’s sister property, Pine Ridge Winery of Napa, California. Miller is owner of the wine-consulting firm Amusée and cofounder of the national wine club Sip Better.

Cancellations are subject to a 10 percent processing fee if received five or fewer working days before the program start. Refunds are not granted if you cancel on or after the first day of the program. Notice may be emailed to ccapsreg@umn.edu.

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