Chardonnay is the world's most popular white grapes, due to its attractive, mouth filling flavor and ability to grow well in a range of climates. It performs most majestically (and expensively) in the vineyards of Chablis and Burgundy's Côte d'Or but the first countries to put a glass of Chardonnay in the hands of ordinary folk were Australia and the USA.
Chardonnay can be crisp and light or rich, tropical and weighty. It has a great affinity with oak so is often fermented and / or aged in barrel, adding toasty vanilla complexity to its ripe, peachy fruit. Fashions change however and these days there is a definite move towards more elegant and subtle styles.