Chardonniere, a town in Haiti

Chardonniére, a township in the Chardonniére Arrondissement, is located within the Sud Department. A coastal town of some 21,000 plus inhabitants, it sits at sea level on the southwestern peninsula of Haiti. Four divisions comprise Chardonniére: Bony, Chardonniére, Dejoie, and Randal.


The township is bordered by the Massif de la Hotte Mountains, lying northward, the town of Port-a-Pepper on the eastern side, and the Caribbean Sea lying southward. Port-au-Prince and Les Cayes lie further away. The sea almost completely surrounds Chardonniére, giving it an island-like feeling. The beaches are made of sand so white, it seems sugar-like. Not only does the town look out at vast vistas of water, but it has water coursing through it, the Rivierè Chardonniére. Because of the town's stunning natural beauty it is a tourist magnet, helping to fuel the local economy.

The townspeople speak not French or Créole as one would expect, but Chardonniere, a name coined by visiting pirates, back in colonial days. Over time the language has undergone changes, incorporating words and phrases from Spanish, French, or Créole.

Chardonniére is a primary grape-producing region. When France occupied Haiti, they discovered the grapes grown there could be made into a fine white wine, and French Kings had the grapes exported to France, eventually known as the Chardonnay grape. For Chardonniére residents, they hold the grape in high esteem, giving others these small tokens of appreciation to show their thankfulness for acts of kindness and generosity bestowed on them.

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