“Chablis Region”, Chablis wines, come only from the Chablis region in the Northern most part of Burgundy, France. This white wine, made from the Chardonnay grape, produces a dry white wine that is world renowned for it's pure aroma and taste.
The cool climate in the Chablis region tends to produce wines that are a little higher in acidity, and lower in fruit flavors than wines made elsewhere with the Chardonnay grape. Chablis wines often have a “Flinty” sometimes “steely” note. Most basic Chablis is vinified in stainless steel tanks and is completely “unoaked”.
Chablis has been going through a planting bloom in the last century. In 1955 there were only 1,360 acres planted with vines. In modern times, that number is closer to 12,000 acres.
Vines are thought to have first come to the Chablis region with the Romans. During the middle ages the Catholic church and Cistercian monks took a great interest in viticulture in Chablis, helping to further establish grape growing and wine production in the area. The Cistercian monks were the first to grow Chardonnay in the Chablis region in the 12th century. Using the Seine river, via the nearby Yonne river, as a means of transport wine producers had a near monopoly in the lucrative Parisian market. During the 17th century chablis wines made there way onto the English market, it proved to be very popular there, and they started importing it in large volumes.
During the 19th century the region suffered a number of blows to its wine producing industry. The opening of the French rail system saw a huge influx of inexpensive wines from different regions onto the market. Then in the 1880's powdery mildew and phylloxera reached the Chablis region, destroying much of the regions crops. Growing area fell from a high of nearly 100,000 acres to only 1235 acres in 1950's.
The 20th century has seen a revival of the wine industry in the Chablis region. The region received its AOC in 1938 and technological advances saw higher yields and higher quality wines produced from the region. The increase in the popularity of Chardonnay wines in the late 20th century helped boost demand for Chablis wines. With it's reputation for fabulous crisp dry whites this region is once again prospering, and as of 2004 there was a little over 10,000 acres planted.
The Chablis region covers around 10,500 acres and is considered the Northern most extension of the Burgundy wine region. The region has a semi-continental climate, with hot summers and long bitter winters. Soils in the region tend to be a composition of Clay, limestone and tiny fossilized oyster shells. These soils are what tends to give these wines there mineral, sometimes flinty flavor.
Chablis wines tend to be light and crisp. They are not strong in their fruit flavors. Chablis tend to have more of a mineral taste to them, often having a Flinty or earthy mineral taste. They are high in acidity and can have hints of lemon or tart apple flavors. These wines pair well with seafood such as a sauteed white fish or shellfish. With its high acidity, Chablis also pairs well with rich cream based sauces, with the wine and the sauce counterbalancing each other.