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The Chablis Region of France and its Classifications

The entire Burgundy region has about 62,000 acres of vineyards. The sub-area of Chablis has just over 11,000 acres and is composed of four official appellations or classifications.

Grand Crus Chablis

Approximately 250 acres of vineyards on the hills overlooking the town of Chablis are divided into 7 Grands Crus. These vineyards produce some of the greatest white wines in the world. The names of these outstanding vineyards are Les Blanchots, Les Bouguerots, Les Clos, Les Grenouilles, Les Preuses, Les Valmur, and Les Vaudésir. These wines, from the best vintage, will easily age more than 10-15 years before reaching maturity.

Premier Cru Chablis

The next level of the classification is Premier Cru. There are about 1900 acres of Premier Cru vineyards spread among 40 separate Cru. Premier Cru wines have great finesse and structure but do not exhibit the sheer power of the Grands Crus. The best known are Les Fourchaumes, La Montée de Tonnerre, Le Mont de Milieu, Les Montmains, Les Beauroy, Les Vaudevey and Les Vaillons. These wines normally reach their peak from 5 to 10 years old.


‘Classic’ Chablis is produced from 6,500 acres of vines grown mainly on the Kimmeridgian limestone that comprises the major soil type in Chablis. Classic Chablis is best enjoyed in the first 3 years after release. It should be fresh and lively with an elegant ‘flinty’ character.

Petit Chablis

Wines in this classification are made from Chardonnay (like other Chablis) that is mostly grown at higher altitudes on mixed limestone soils. Petit Chablis is a pleasant wine with a fragrant bouquet. It is best enjoyed when young, and is not a good candidate for added cellaring beyond its release from the winery.