Last Thursday on May 21st we celebrated International Chardonnay day, and this Thursday, May 28th we celebrate our beautiful Charli Jaye’s birthday, so of course, it is only fitting that we celebrate our Charli Jaye Chardonnay too!

Our lovely granddaughter, Charli turns 17 today and we couldn’t be more proud of the wonderful young woman she has grown to become.

Charli was only five when wepicked our first Brockenchack grapesand over the years we've enjoyed having her come down from Queensland to stay with us every school holidays, running around with boundless energy and an infectious smile! Charli has grown into an amazing young lady who has drive and tenacity beyond her years. We know you’ll go on to do brilliant things and can’t wait to see where you end up!

We named our Brockenchack Chardonnay after our beautiful granddaughter, and much like Charli,this Chardonnayis complex and sophisticated, and most of all, it's elegant!

Chardonnay as a variety first came to Australia in the 1920s, but didn’t find popularity until around the 70’s and 80s. Premium Australian Chardonnay has evolved dramatically from the rich, ripe full flavoured versions of the '80s and '90s. When New Zealand's Malborough Sauvignon Blanc movement hit our shores, white wine drinker's tastes shifted, to enjoying more acidity and crisp, tangy tones. Coupled with the media's backing of the so-called ABC movement (Anything But Chardonnay), Chardonnay winemakers had to rethink their approach, to appeal to an audience whose tastes had shifted dramatically away from the rich, toasty and buttery Chardonnays of days gone by. But we're an adaptable lot us Aussies - and the industry did just that... we adapted to a more cool climate style.

As the country's most widely planted white variety, the range of Chardonnay styles produced is constantly evolving and being refined. Cool climate versions tend to be lighter in body with higher acidity and more subtle flavours. Warm climate versions tend to be more full-bodied with richer, riper fruit and bolder flavours.

Cool climate fruit, from areas such asour own Eden Valley vineyard, combined with a gentler touch of oak,lees contactandmalolactic conversionhas led to a more restrained, balanced, age-worthy style of Chardonnay.

We planted our Chardonnay vines back in 2012, in front of our B&B in one of the coolest parts of our vineyard, because Trevor wanted to deliver a sophisticated and elegant style of Chardonnay that he could drink at any time of the year.

Our first Chardonnay was harvested in 2015 and it was then that Trev decided this wine would be crafted in Charli’s honour. Our first release settled nicely in Australia's Drinks Trade MagazineTop 20 premium Chardonnaysin their April/May 2016 edition.

Our second release, the 2016 was awarded a silver medal in 2018 at theSan Francisco International Wine Competition.

Our third and current release was also awardedsilver at the 2019 San Francisco International Wine Competition, and scored 91 points from the Chardonnay tasting team at Australia'sNational Liquor News March 2020edition. We love that the NLN tasting team deduced that "Cool climate is where Chardonnay seems to be finding its home"

...and we couldn't agree more!

We anticipate the cellaring potential of our Chardonnay to be eight to ten years. Much like a Riesling or any other good white than can be cellared, it will go through periods of change. We suggest, if you've laid a few bottles down, that you revisit this wine each year, to discover how it is evolving over the course. I know we'll certainly try to do that, but if you're anything like us, we're struggling not to open them all now, because it's just so darn delicious!

So today, in your honour Charli, we will crack open a bottle of Charli Jaye Chardonnay and 'cheers' to this beautiful variety, but most importantly, to the beautiful woman you are! We look forward to sharing a bottle with you next year, for the 'big' one.