According to The Times, The Ardèche is “ideally suited to Chardonnay.” Along with its breathtaking gorges (carved out from the Ardèche River) this spot boasts a Mediterranean climate – hot, dry summers and mild winters, tempered by the cooling Mistral wind. The pebble-strewn, free-draining soils are ideal for ‘stressing’ out grape vines, which concentrates the aromas and flavors in grapes.
And because 2015 is one of the best vintages France has seen in years, you’ll taste even extra intensity, finesse – the stuff that sets Chardonnay fans’ pulses racing. Look forward to honeyed peachy aromas with a rounded, fruit-packed palate of fresh nectarine, apricot and melon – plus subtle notes of toasty vanilla from light oak aging.
For a fun food pairing: The Ardèche is France’s largest producer of chestnuts, so why not incorporate them into your meal plans? Our top picks: chicken thighs braised with mushrooms, chestnuts and white wine; wine-braised pork shoulder with sweet potatoes and chestnuts; or simple and creamy chestnut soup.