Chablis - A Unique And Historical Region
Chablis, not the ultra-sweet, low-quality box wine in America, but the centuries-old region in France, is unique in its offering and its history. Producing wine in Chablis is not for the feint of heart, and the unique product make it an interesting buy...here's why:
Chablis, referred to as Burgundy's "Golden Gate," is 100% Chardonnay grapes from a region that is 10 miles long and 4 miles wide. The wine characteristics of a Chablis differs from other, more famous chardonnays in Burgundy in that the wines are more acidic and austere. They taste drier, with more steely, stony, and mineral aspects to balance out their distinctive perfume and precision. Of course, there are so many wineries in Chablis, each with their own unique vinification, so this description is a generalization. The use of oak (most of Chablis omits oak or uses very little), crop yields, and wine processing techniques all affect the end result.
Once one of the most significant viticultural areas in Europe, Chablis was growing grapes during Roman occupation and monks from the nearby Cistercian Abbey of Pontigny helped grow the vineyards to over 100,000 acres with easy transportation to major European cities. It is now a smaller, more focused and unique wine offering on the world stage.
Winemakers in Chablis must have "thick skin" (pun intended) to continue their craft in a region that is so challenging. The weather is difficult for growing grapes, with deep freezes in winter, spring frosts and summers so short the grapes barely ripen. The name "Chablis" has been disparaged because of its usage in America, Australia, New Zealand and South America to refer to wine that comes from locations other than the Chablis region, which lowers global demand. And post phylloxera devastation, Chablis has only replanted 10% of its original acreage - the glory days are gone.
The best producers are the handful of Grand Cru labels, which are located on a hillside with the richest Kimmeridgian limestone soil, just northeast of the city of Chablis and on the north bank of the Serein River.
What we enjoy about Chablis wines is their unique flavors, unlike anywhere else in the world. Wine that is fun and different is always a nice complement to your collection. And Chablis is a significant piece of our world's wine history. We carry the following Chablis labels that we know you will just adore!