Chablis is an historic wine-producing town in northern-central France. It produces light, dry white wines famed for their minerality and crisp acidity. AOC Chablis wines are produced exclusively from Chardonnay.
Chablis is located in northern Burgundy (Bourgogne), although the town and its vineyards are located a considerable distance (more than 60 miles/100 km) north-west of Burgundy’s main wine-producing areas around Nuits-Saint-Georges, Beaune, Chalon-sur-Saone and Macon. They are in fact closer to Sancerre (Loire) and Les Riceys (southern Champagne). Consequently, Chablis has a cooler climate than the rest of Burgundy, which contributes significantly to the style of wine its vineyards produce. The effects of terroir on wine can be seen more clearly in Chablis than almost anywhere else.
Chablis wines are made in a style rather different from those produced elsewhere in Burgundy. They are drier and fresher, rather than more weighty and richly flavored. Unlike typical Burgundian white wines, which are barrel fermented, Chablis is usually entirely free of any oak influence. Very few Chablis producers use oak barrels in their winemaking and the exceptions are restricted to the higher-quality wines, whose extra complexity and depth mean that the wines are not overpowered by oak flavors.