Chablis is an appellation within the wine region of Burgundy and is one of the most famous and well-known AOCs in the world. The presence of vineyards on the left bank of the river Serein can be traced back to the Middle Ages with records showing that although it was Romans who introduced vines to Chablis, it was Cistercian Monks who firmly established viticulture in the region.
It is part of a region known as the Chablisien. It groups together 3 appellations including the “Petit Chablis”, Chablis (with the mention “Premier Cru”) and Chablis Grand Cru. The only grape variety authorised for wine production is Chardonnay, the great white grape variety of the Burgundy region.
The 3 appellations are located 150 kilometers southeast of Paris and north of Burgundy. Petit Chablis AOC is located on cooler and less exposed terroirs. The Chablis AOC is located on the slopes of the tributaries of the river Serein. The Premier Cru and the Grand Cru vines are located on the best slopes with great exposure. Vaudésir, Valmur and Bougros are Grand Cru sites which are famous all over France. The climate is unique, with continental influences.
The wines are fresh with bright acidity. The higher we move up in the hierarchy of appellations, the more balanced and complex the wines tend to be. Chablis often has stone fruit , oyster shell and citrus fruit aromas. The Premier Cru and the Grand Cru wines often offer more robust aromas such as hazelnut, wood and butter. The freshest wines are perfect to open the taste buds during the aperitif. The most complex wines are ideal with a magnificent veal rib or grilled lobster.
The best wines can be kept for up to 10 years or more and should be drunk between 12 and 14 degrees. A small selection of great winemakers can even make wines capable of ageing for longer than 10 years, with unique aromas and impressive length.