Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Chardonnay (but Were Afraid to Ask)

Top global Chardonnay producers and major talent converge over three days of seminars, tastings, and pairing events

Listen: we’re going there—Chardonnay is as sexy a grape as they come. I mean, just look at those golden sun rays reflecting off juicy orbs of plump, succulent Chardonnay grapes in the photo above. It’s so sexy, in fact, that top producers of Chardonnay from around the globe are converging at this year’s annual International Chardonnay Symposium, which kicks off three days of events tomorrow from the oceanfront communities of Avila and Pismo Beach.

Ardent fans and would-be fans of Chardonnay will glean an understanding of how versatile the grape is and why it’s a favorite among winemakers through two grand tastings (at The Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa and The Cliffs Resort), which will underscore a series of seminars with incredible talent from California’s Central Coast.

You could hang with Brian McClintic, Master Sommelier, star of SOMM and proprietor of Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant in Santa Barbara, CA who will host “To Oak Or Not To Oak?: Exploring Chardonnay as the Chameleon of Vitis Vinifera.”

Or you might be fortunate enough to meet Fred Dame, the OG of Master Somms, who’ll be moderating a panel discussion and retrospective tasting with Hanzell Vineyards and Mount Eden Vineyards. And you won’t want to miss Nicholas Miller of Bien Nacido Vineyards in Santa Maria, CA who will moderate a discussion on “The Fashion of Chardonnay: Examining Winemakers’ Stylistic Influence on Chardonnay.”

Other seminars include a Vintner’s Wine Tech Symposium, artisanal sausage and Chardonnay pairings, and a Sommelier Challenge. And the setting couldn’t be more idyllic—attendees will have time to explore nearby Central Coast wineries and can take advantage of plenty of outdoor activities from hitting the beach to hiking, biking,and shopping.

Tickets for the event, which goes from May 28-May 30, are still available and can be purchased on the symposium’s Web site.