The appellation, named after the city of the same name and classified in 1938, is located north and delimited from the wine-growing region Burgundy in the so-called Basse-Bourgogne in the Yonne department. The area lies southwest of it Saint-Bris, which was counted before the appeal regulation. Chablis is by the Morvan Mountains Cote d'Or separated and lies the Champagne much closer than the other Burgundian areas. Already the Romans started viticulture here in the 2nd century and later the monastic orders took over church the cultivation. The earned particular merit Cistercian Abbey Pontigny, whose monks allegedly owned the Chardonnay introduced here. It was once the largest wine-growing region with 40,000 hectares around the city of Auxerre France, Due to sales difficulties and phylloxera damage caused a switch to other agricultural products.
In addition, the area was and is extremely through hail and until May from frost endangered, therefore entire crops were destroyed again and again. All of this contributed to the fact that in the mid-1950s only 500 hectares were planted. From the beginning of the 1960s, various measures were used to successfully combat the risk of frost. The installation of oil-fired stoves in the rows of vines, the heat of which is distributed in the vineyard by windmills, is very effective. In addition, the vines sprayed with water, whereupon the resulting ice film forms a protective covering around the young shoots forms. Today there are around 4,500 hectares of vines in Chablis and another 19 municipalities.
The light yellow wine with a greenish tinge is made from the Chardonnay grape variety (here it is called Beaunoise) dry. He has a typical mineral Aroma after flint (French name "Goût de pierre à fusil") and tastes mild and fruity despite the strong acidity, which is due to the predominant clay and limestone soil. Traditionally, the wine matures in concrete cisterns or in steel tanks, but many manufacturers are increasingly pushing the expansion into oak. Most wines go through one today malolactic fermentation, A top wine from the Chablis has enormous storage potential up to several decades.
The quality hierarchy corresponds to the four-tier system of Burgundy classification :
Chablis Grand Cru: These are the wines from the seven top locations, all of which are on a slope north of the city of Chablis. These are the best Blanchot (12 ha), as well as Bougros (12 ha), Grenouilles , Les Clos (27 ha), Les Preuses (11 ha), Valmur (13 ha) and Vaudésir (14 ha). Another vineyard called La Moutonne is not listed as a Grand Cru, but may use the protected name on the label because 2.3 hectares of it are located in the two vineyards of Vaudésir and Les Preuses. Classification as a Grand Cru was considered, but has not yet been achieved. The approximately 100 hectares of vineyards make up only 5% of Chablis production.
Premier Cru: These wines can either have the name of one of the 40 individual layers or the name of a so-called layer group on the label. The latter is predominantly used, these are (in brackets the locations that are allowed to use the collective term): Côte de Jouan, Côte de Léchet, Côte de Vaubarousse, Beuaroy (Troesmes, Côte de Savant), Berdiot, Chaume de Talvat, Fourchame (Côte de Fontenay, L'Homme Mort, Vaulorent, Vaupulent), Les Fourneaux (Côte des Prés-Girots, Morein), Les Beauregard (Côte de Cuissy), Les Landes et Verjuts, Mont de Milieu, Montée de Tonnere (Chapelot, Côte de Bréchain, Pied d'Aloup), Montmains (Butteaux, Forets), Vaillons (Beugnons, Chatains, Les Epinottes, Les Lys, Mélinots, Roncières, Sécher), Vaucoupin, Vau de Vey (Vaux Ragons, Vau Ligneau and Vosgros (Vaugiraut) The total area is 750 hectares in 15 municipalities (not the municipality of Chablis itself) and supplies around 30% of the production.
Chablis: The AC covers a very large area with around 2,300 hectares of vineyards. No position on the label may be stated. These wines make up around 60% of the production. In good vintages this can be an excellent, classic chablis.
Petit Chablis: These are the wines from the lesser soils and layers, the majority of which are in the AC Chablis. 1,800 hectares are defined as vineyards, of which only 200 are currently used. There are efforts to change the somewhat trivializing name or to leave this class at all.
The best-known producers with Grand Cru and / or Premier Cru locations in the Chablis appellation include Barat, Bichot (Domaine Long-Depaquit), Billaud-Simon, Pascal Bouchard, La Chablisienne, Michel Cobois, Jean Collet, Jean Dauvissat, René & Vincent Dauvissat, Jean Defaix, Jean-Paul Droin, Joseph Drouhin, Gérard Duplessis, Domaine Marcel Duplessis, William Fèvre Domaine de la Maladière, Château Grenouilles, Jean-Pierre Grossot, Michel Laroche, Domaine des Malandes, Domaine des Maronniers, Domaine de Meulière, J. Moreau & Fils, Sylvain Mosnier, Gilbert Picq, Domaine Pinson, Jean-Marie Ravenau, Guy Robin, Philippe Testut, Jean-Marie Raveneau, Château de Viviers, Robert Vocoret & Fils and Domaine Vocret.