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Babarolo Piedmont Wine Lexicon - C


Chaptalizing describes a method of dry sugaring of wines. It was named after the chemist and Minister of the Interior under Napoleon, Jean-Antoine Chaptal (1756 - 1832). To counteract the loss of quality of wines after the French Revolution, he invented a method of sweetening wines to increase the alcohol content of the wines. In particular, poor harvests, in which the grape varieties received too little heat and sunlight, could be avoided in this way. In Germany, it was the inventor and social theorist Ludwig Gall who meticulously studied this method in the mid-19th century and popularized it in scientific textbooks. He had observed with concern that more and more winegrowers in Germany were losing their livelihoods due to poor harvests and emigrating to warmer countries. For him, chaptalization was the ideal method to avoid such emigration movements.

Beet and cane sugar are usually used in chaptalization. In addition to a higher alcohol content, the wines also have more body and fullness. A counter-movement against this method developed when wine connoisseurs realized that chaptalization harmed the flow behavior of the wine and caused a poorer mouthfeel. Sugaring is limited in the EU. In wine-growing zone A, wines may be sweetened up to a maximum of 3.5% by volume. In wine-growing zone B, sugaring up to 2.5% by volume and in wine-growing zone by 2.0% by volume is permitted. In addition, there are different regulations in different countries regarding this method. In Germany, for example, this method is forbidden for Prädikat wines. This is most popular in Burgundy and Switzerland. Chaptalised wines do not have to be labelled, but they can be recognized by a high alcohol content in wines, which is atypical in relation to the terroir of the grapes under natural conditions.


The character of a wine is defined by the sum of its smell and taste properties. Overall, wines can be characterized by fruity, chemical, earthy, botanical, organic, spicy, and warm aromas. The wine is further characterized by the balance of fruit acid, tannins (especially tannins) and acidity. For example, acidic wines are given a dominant and acrid character, while low acidity makes the wine appear dull and old. Unripe tannins, on the other hand, lead to a green and harsh undertone, while a lack of tannins makes it too light and irrelevant. In addition, a wine with character has pronounced properties in terms of terroir, type of vinification, area, climate, vintage, taste, grape variety or wine type.


Chardonnay is one of the most popular white wines in the world and accordingly has a large area under cultivation of around 200,000 hectares worldwide. It is most planted in California with a vineyard area of ​​44,500 hectares, followed by France with 32,500 hectares and Australia with 30,500 hectares. Its acreage is therefore three times larger than that of Riesling. Chardonnay is a cross between Gouais Blanc and Pinot. The wine is named after the town of Cardonaccum in Burgundy and is characterized by a high quality of taste and a high degree of adaptability to the soil.

Nevertheless, it is susceptible to late frost, so that calcareous soil is ideal as a cultivation area. Peripheral locations are also reflected in a loss of quality. Its minerals are further refined by storage in oak barrels, so that this form of storage is common for this white wine. With a young degree of maturity, the wine has a light taste that goes well with fish and seafood.With a higher degree of maturity, it becomes powerful and woody and goes well with hearty dishes and fresh cheese

Wine connoisseurs use numerous synonyms for Chardonnay. These include the terms Aroison, Arboisier, Arnaison Blanc, Auvergnat Blanc, Auxeras Blanc, Auxerrois Blanc, Bargeois Blanc, Beaunois, Blanc de Champagne, Breisgauer Süßling, Chablis, Chardenay, Chardonnay Blanc, Chaudenay, Clevner Weiss, Yellow Burgundy, Yellow Pinot Blanc, Mâconnais, Obaideh, Petit Chatey, Petite Sainte-Marie, Pineau Blanc Chardonnay, Pino Sardone, Pinot Chardonnay, Plant de Tonnerre, Romeret and Sardone.


Cuvée has several meanings in vinology, which is why the meaning of the term is derived from the context. In France, the term, derived from a wine container (cuve), is used to describe bottled wine. The phrase Teté de Cuvée, on the other hand, refers to the must yield of the first pressing process with the highest quality in Champagne.

If the term is used in Germany, it usually means a cuvée wine, which is a wine that consists of several grape varieties . The disadvantage of a blended wine is the loss of purity. The advantage, on the other hand, lies in a better balance, since certain grape varieties are selected according to their properties in order to achieve the best possible result. The mixing of different locations and vintages is also managed as a blend. Famous blended wines are the Chianti, the Chateauneuf-du-Pape and the Rioja.