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Wine/Chardonnay grapes


Hello Joshua,

The definition of Chardonnay has been said to be 'a place where thistles grow'. Do thistles actually grow on the vines of Chardonnay grapes? And if not, where would they be located? (Unable to visit wine country and see for myself at this time-ha!ha!)

Thank you for the info.



The name for the grape Chardonnay comes from the village of Chardonnay in the Maconnais region of France (which is in Burgundy where the grapes derives). It is a derivative of Cardonnacum, a Latin term to denote an area with thistles. This "area with thistles" describes the region not the grapes or the grape vines. Thistles grow in a lot of places but I haven't noticed them particularly around any Chardonnay vines that I've seen.


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Joshua Farrell


I can answer most any question about wine- types, styles, grape varieties, regions, vintages, proper storage, production, wine and food pairing, wine service, decanting, proper glassware, serving temperatures etc. Regarding questions about specific bottles of wine, since I live in the U.S. my focus is on wines imported here. I can't answer questions about spirits and liquor valuations.


I have over 20 years of experience. I was a wine buyer and sommelier in NYC for many years including 4 years at Windows on the World which was NY's number one wine restaurant. I created and taught a Wine Appreciation Course at Borough of Manhattan Community College. I have worked for the past 15 years for the Wine Enthusiast Cos. as Editor, Columnist, Wine Storage Consultant and am currently Wine Director and Buyer for their online wine website, I recently judged in the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition. Follow me on Twitter @WEX_Josh

Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Diversions Magazine

Windows on the World Wine School- completed all courses from beginning to advanced. Former member of the Sommelier Society of NY. Competed in the Food and Wines of France Sommelier Competition. Traveled to wine regions in Europe including, Bordeaux, Rhone Valley, Alsace, Tuscany, Piedmont, Veneto, Rioja, and Jerez. Visited wine regions in NY's Finger Lakes, California's Sonoma, Napa and Central Coast and Oregon's Willamette Valley.

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