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Vue des vignes depuis Chablis Beauregard


Terroirs et cépage de Chablis

Terroir and
grape variety

If you had travelled around the Chablis area in the north of Burgundy 150 million years ago, you would have been surprised.

Because at the time there were no vines there… or land! It was a warm shallow sea stretching as far as the eye can see. That Jurassic sea has left us with a valued heritage, the so-called “Kimmeridgian” sediments. 

These sediments formed the subsoil of the Chablis terroir. At times, between the rows of vines one finds the fossilized remains of this maritime past, a small oyster called “Exogyra Virgula”.

Rich in clay and limestone, these terroirs give Chablis wine their mineralness, purity and delicacy. On this unique terroir, only one vine variety takes pride of place: Chardonnay.

Born in Burgundy, it used to be called “Beaunois” (named after the town of Beaune) in the Chablis vineyards.

Transcended by the soil in which it is grown, its expression in the Chablis terroir is unique and unequalled. Through its appellations and different Chablis climates in which it is grown, it reveals the multiple variations in its aromas and flavours: iodized, crystalline, floral or mineral flavours, notes of citrus or white-fleshed fruit...


Chablis wines account for 16% of the total volume of wine produced in Burgundy, and are divided into four appellations:

  • Petits Chablis ;

  • Chablis ;

  • Chablis Premier Cru ;

  • Chablis Grand cru.

The first three AOCs are classified as “Village et Village premier Cru”, while the fourth one on the other hand is part of the Burgundy “Grand Crus”.

The Chablis Premier Cru Montmains produced at the Jean-Claude Martin estate is grown on the left bank of the Serein, a small river flowing through the vineyard. This climate is characterized by grape harvests later in the year, due to the winds that sweep across it and make it cooler than other climates. There is an abundance of Kimmeridgian marls under the surface clay, which then sometimes takes on a reddish to brown colour.

Carte des climats et appellations de Chablis
Gros plan sur un verre de vin du Domaine Martin

of the wines 

It is hard to sum up in a few lines the delicacy and subtlety of the white Chablis wines, as the distinctive features of the different climates and the expertise of the wine grower make each wine unique.

However they are all characterized by a vivid and clear or pale or greeny gold colour and by mineral and iodized aromas blended with notes of fruit (apples, citrus fruit).

Apart from Petit Chablis, which is drunk young, over time the three other appellations also develop notes of undergrowth and mushroom, and quite often lime, mint or dried fruit.

They all feature an excellent balance between acidity and fat, and their persistent finish predestines them to be drunk with the iodized flavours of fish, shellfish and oysters. But they also go marvellously well with cheese and poultry.

On its site dedicated to Chablis wines, the Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bourgogne (BIVB) provides detailed fact sheets offering all the guidance you need for tasting and laying down these four appellations.


 Jean-Claude Martin Estate




of Chablis


Shaped by nature:

Discover our wines

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