The white grape variety comes from France. There are about 120 synonyms, which indicate its age and worldwide distribution in most wine-growing countries. The most important ones, grouped alphabetically by country, are Clevner, Clävner (Alsace); Arboisier, Arnaison Blanc, Arnoison, Aubain, Aubaine, Auvergnat Blanc, Auvernat Blanc, Auxerrois, Auxois, Beaunois, Blanc de Champagne, Chardonnet, Chaudenay, Chaudent, Epinette, Epinette Blanc, Epinette de Champagne Gamay Blanc, Gentil Blanc, Luisant, Melon à Queue Rouge, Melon Blanc, Melon d'Arbois, Melon d'Arlay, Morillon, Morillon Blanc, Noirien Blanc, Pinot Blanc Chardonnay, Pinot de Bourgogne, Rousseau (France); Gelber Burgunder, Klawner, Weißer Ruländer (Germany); Chardonnay Bijeli (Croatia); Obaideh (Lebanon); Wais Edler, Waiser Clevner (Moldavia); Morillon, Feinburgunder (Austria) It must not be confused with the varieties Aligoté, Auxerrois (Beaunois), Melon de Bourgogne, Pinot Blanc (very similar), Sacy or Traminer (Savagnin Blanc), despite the fact that synonyms or morphological similarities seem to indicate this.
Until the end of the 19th century, Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc were often confused. The ampelograph Victor Pulliat (1827-1896) had already assumed in 1868 that there were two different varieties and this was officially recognized in France in 1872 at least. In other countries they had problems much longer and the two were considered identical. In Austria they were recorded and identified together in the official lists of grape varieties until 1999. It was only through DNA analyses carried out in 1999 that their independence was finally confirmed: Chardonnay is a cross between Gouais Blanc x Pinot. In Styria, Chardonnay is traditionally called Morillon and often regarded as independent. Although this vine has slight morphological differences from Chardonnay, it is genetically identical.