It’s not long to go until the Third Annual Chardonnay day on 24 May, 2012. It’s the perfect excuse to be exploring the range of great Chardonnay styles being made across the world, and particularly across Australia and New Zealand.

According to Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (via Aust and NZ Wine Industry Directory), Chardonnay was the leading grape varietal crushed in 2011 – accounting for over 48% of total white wines crushed in Australia. There’s endless quotes and commentary on the quality and stylistic changes that have taken place by Chardonnay producers on a global scale (no longer about big oaked Chardonnays), and days like #chardDay are a perfect opportunity to discover the vast amount of styles being made. It’s no longer the days of “Anything But Chardonnay”, but as Sally Scarborough quoted to me last week, more along the lines of “Always Buy Chardonnay.”

Peter Bourne (The Wine Man), David Bicknell (Oakridge Wines) and Andrew Spinaze (Tyrrells Wines) give you  an insight into the evolution of Australian Charonnay at last years #chardDay event at Coast Restaurant in Sydney (yes it was a huge event and there’s some background noise).

So what exactly is Chardonnay Day?

This is a global day to talk about Chardonnay via social media platforms. There’s no concurrent tasting, conversations will take place in the time zone of country participating. Anyone can get involved. Simply post up comments on twitter, facebook, youtube , foursquare or other social media platforms. You simply need to use the #chardDay in your posts/ tweets and follow the conversations taking place on the day.

In 2011, Chardonnay day tweets reached millions of people across the world, with Australians getting involved at venues across the country as you’ll see from some of these photos

If you’re new to Virtual Wine Tastings, here’s an older blog post on how to participate

Love Chardonnay and want to get involved?

  • Check out the official Spotlight Mobile app to see where there’s a venue near you hosting a tasting
  • Michael Ellis also has a list of venues around Australia that are hosting tastings on the Wine Punter Blog
  • Open a bottle of Chardonnay at home and use #ChardDay to get involved remotely.

Here’s a few tips for Wineries to maximize your participation

  • Engage with consumers – sell trial packs of your chardonnay in advance – whether this is a special Chardonnay trial pack on your website, special offers on your Chardonnay through cellar door, features in your eNewsletters or deals to the trade it’s an opportunity to get trial of your products and get consumers tasting. Help the understand how the day works and get them talking about your products
  • Make it easy to join in the conversation – many consumers are intimidated to talk about the wines, particularly on twitter. Help them get involved in the conversations – print out a sheet of your tasting notes to put in with packs sold and create a letter to include on what is chardonnay day and how they can get involved.
  • Create content in advance – Don’t leave it to the last minute to start planning. Those who have had success with similar days in the past have thought about their participation in advance and created relevant content. Videos, blog posts, having tasting notes accessible will allow you to tell your messages. You can pre-load some content via platforms like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck so think about the messages you’re trying to convey.
  • Organise a meet up – Creating an opportunity for people to get involved and meet up is a great way of sharing the wines. This can be as simple as a tasting in your cellar door on the day, approaching local venues about hosting a tasting or just getting together with friends. Whilst not mandatory it makes it easy to follow along with the conversations by having a big screen and watching the flow of conversations on a program like or makes it easy to see the conversations taking place all over the world.
  • Collaborate with others – In many cases there’s a regional/ stylistic story to be told as well as a brand message. Talk to your regional wine association about how you can create some regional content and work together to get the message out. A great way to create some videos in advance. If your own cellar door is not participating, why not see if you can get some other producers from your region together and sample your wines up against other international examples?

Retailers/ Restaurants/ Sommeliers- generate some incremental sales… 

This is also a great opportunity for you to generate some incremental sales and generate some further understanding of different styles of chardonnay being produced. Why not consider:

  • Tastings on the day – in store tastings on chardonnays. Talk to consumers about the different styles and regions and get your producers involved.
  • Chardonnay by the glass specials for the week of Chardonnay Day or specific food matches with Chardonnay on the menu
  • Mixed cases of regional Chardonnays sold in advance in tasting packs so people can get involved

If you need more information, send me a tweet to @mastermindTB or email me on – happy to help you spread the word and get more involved.