Definition - What does Chablis mean?

Chablis is a historic and traditional style of white wine produced in north-central France made from the Chardonnay grape. Chablis is also the name of the region found in northern Burgundy. The wines are dry and light-bodied, with a signature mineral characteristic which comes from their special soils. These wines are rarely oaked and are aged in stainless steel in order to maintain their crisp, mineral character.

WineFrog explains Chablis

Chablis wines are renown worldwide for their unique character and crisp acidity. The wines have a "flinty" note (like gunpowder) and a steely finish which can be contributed to high acidity. While some wines are lightly-oaked, mainly for stylistic choice by the winemaker, most are aged and refined in stainless steel vessels.

Chablis is divided into four classification categories:

  1. Chablis Grand Cru
  2. Chablis Premier Cru
  3. Chablis
  4. Petit Chablis

The division of Chablis from Burgundy is due to the region's special soils, called Kimmeridgian. These soils are rich in clay, with a high concentration of ancient marine fossils, adding a high lime concentration. This composition is what creates the trademark minerality in Chablis wine.

Classic food pairings with Chablis are chicken tarragon, escargot, quail and light fish, like cod and trout. The bright acidity enable the wine to pair with a variety of dishes, even those with heavy cream or creamy, fresh cheeses.

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