Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
Which sparkling wines are made from Chardonnay?
—Lyman, Victoria, B.C.
In the Champagne region of France, the three primary grapes are Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. Chardonnay is the only white grape among those, so when a Champagne is made from 100 percent Chardonnay, it’s referred to as a “blanc de blancs,” which translates to “white of whites.”
Outside of Champagne, I see the term “blanc de blancs” referring to sparkling wine made exclusively from white wine grapes, but not necessarily only Chardonnay—I’ve seen some blends that include grapes like Pinot Gris or Pinot Blanc. You’d have to check with the producer to get the details.