Chablis is located about 60 miles northwest of the Côte d’Or in Burgundy region. As a result, it has a cooler climate than the rest of Burgundy, which contributes significantly to the style of wine its vineyards produce. It has a continental style climate with hot summers and cold winters. The effects of terroir on wine can be seen more clearly in Chablis than almost anywhere else.
Chablis wines are produced exclusively from Chardonnay.
Chablis lies between terroirs with Kimmeridgian( composed of calcareous and clay layers) soils and those with Portlandian soils. Kimmeridgian soils made from the fossilized remains of prehistoric oyster shells and these are the source of the minerality in Premier Cru and Grand Cru wines from Chablis. Portlandian soils are not so rich in clay and fossils, which results in slightly fruitier wines with a less mineral profile. Petit Chablis wines are most often grown in Portlandian soils.
Chablis wines are made in a style rather different from those produced elsewhere in Burgundy. They are drier and fresher, rather than more weighty and richly flavored. Unlike other white wines in Burgundy Chablis but one does not always come in contact with oak. A fermentation and aging in stainless steel tank provides a Chablis with a strong acid and a typical minerality that is often described as a flint taste.
The vineyards of Chablis appellation includes four levels:
Chablis Grand Cru Wines are the very best you can get in Chablis. The AOC Chablis Grand Cru has only 107 hectares in size, organized in seven climates. Bougros, Les Preuses, Vaudésir, Grenouilles, Valmur, Les Clos and Blanchot
Chablis Premier Cru total of 79 small districts on slopes that are facing south or west. In addition to the better microclimate these districts offer the vines a good base.
Chablis the vines of the appellation grow on the hillside and benefit from the influence of the Kimmeridgian soils.
Petit Chablis wines made mostly on the hills around Chablis on soils of Portlandium. This the least prestigious of the Chablis appellations.
This medium-bodied chardonnay based crisp wine pairs well with white fish, shellfish, oysters, grilled chicken and vegetables.