The rolling hills of the lower Illinois River Valley are the ideal location for the growing of Chardonel. Like its French parent Chardonnay, the white grape thrives in the temperate continental climate of the region and the clay and sandy soil. In Greene County, the micro- climate, enhanced by the nearby Mississippi and Illinois Rivers, provides a longer growing season allowing the grapes to develop exceptional flavors. Because the climate and area resemble portions of French Burgundy, many of the same methods for crafting an outstanding dry, French wine were also applied to the Mary Michelle Chardonel.
Chardonel to a “harmony of a Viognier and Chardonnay.” This dry wine is a wonderful accompaniment to lighter fare such as sea bass, sole, salmon, scallops and delicate game fowl. It also goes well as an aperitif with creamy French and Italian cheeses.