Corton-Charlemagne is a historic appellation for Grand Cru Chardonnay in the Cote de Beaune of Burgundy. The 129-acre vineyard falls within the boundaries of three communes, Aloxe-Corton, Pernand-Vergelesses and Ladoix-Serrigny. According to Burgundian historians, the vineyard is named for Charlemagne, the 8th century ruler who conquered most of western Europe. Charlemagne enjoyed the red wine of Corton, but as he grew older his wife disliked the red wine stains in his white beard, so Charlemagne had white grapes planted in Corton. Today only Chardonnay is allowed to be planted in Corton-Charlemagne, and it is one of Burgundy's most celebrated appellations for Grand Cru white wine. The largest land owners are Louis Latour, with 24 acres; Bonneau du Martray, with 23 acres; and Bouchard Pere et Fils, 9.5 acres.
This white variety originated in Burgundy, but is now grown around the world. Its flexibility to thrive in many regions translates to wide flavor profile in the market. Chardonnay is commonly used in making Champagne and sparkling wines.