Chablis is the northernmost Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) inBurgundy, and it is renowned for producing dry white wine made from 100% Chardonnay grapes. Its northern location gives it a cooler climate than most other Burgundy regions.
The appellation covers approximately 4,260 hectares, with 27 communes in total. That includes 40 vineyards classified as Premier Crus and seven Grand Crus.
Chardonnay grapes are believed to have been first planted in the area in the 12th century, by Cistercian monks from the Abbey of Pontigny, on the hillsides by the river Serein.
The soil from the area is characterised by Kimmeridigan limestone and chalk. The resultant wines are usually described as having steely or flinty minerality, with higher acidity than Chardonnay produced in warmer climes.
The wine is commonly produced as an unoaked Chardonnay style, although methods of production vary widely, with some producers favouring oak barrel maturation.
The French describe the appeal of Chablis as its goût de pierre à fusil, or gunflint quality, which can be preserved in some of the best wines for decades.