Burgundy-Chablis wine region

The Burgundy and Chablis wine regions sit below Champagne and are the home to some of the best red and white wines to be found anywhere.

First we are going to talk about the area encompassed by Burgundy so that you know what to include when talking about things like the grape varieties that are legal in Burgundy. The official region mapped out by the formal appellations ascribed to Burgundy start in the north just below Champagne with the famous Chablis appellation and some lesser known appellations such as Irancy, Chitry and Auxerre. Chablis is an easy appellation to understand because there is only one grape variety allowed – Chardonnay and no others.

As an aside, we wrote a story about the Coteaux Bourguignons appellation in our Wine Talk newsletter number 122 which you can download on our Newsletter page as this appellation allows wine to be produced everywhere from the very north of Chablis to the very south of Beaujolais.

As you travel slightly south from Chablis you come across the area around the village of Vézelay wheresome interesting grape varieties can be found in the local wines. First of all there are the white wines produced in the communes surrounding Vézelay which are now part of the Vézelay appellation and have the same status as Pommard or Puligny-Montrachet. As with Chablis, Chardonnay is the only permitted grape variety.

Now we geet into some interesting variations to the normal Pinot Noir/Chardonnay requirements for Burgundian appellations. Just nearby Vézelay is the appellation of Saint-Bris where Sauvigmnon Blanc is the main grape variety found in those wines. The wines where the Saint-Bris appellarion must meet two requirements:

  • the wines must be still white wines;
  • the wines must be made from sauvignon blanc or sauvignon gris.

So, almost immediately we find that there are wines in Burgundy that can be made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc or Sauvignon Gris!

Back to Vézelay and two more grape varieties appear, namely the white Melon de Bourgogne which can be used in some wines from the area and the red César (named after Julius) which is allowed in small quantities in red wines mixed with Pinot Noir.

As we move even further south we reach the famous Cote de Nuits which lies between the towns of Dijon and Beaune.

Alice and Olivier de Moor

Domaine Fanny Sabre

Domaine de la Cadette and Domaine Montanet Thoden

Domaine Derain

Domaine Garreliere

Sextant – Julien Altaber

Yann Durieux – Recrue des Sens

Le Petite Empreinte – Melissa Bazin and Romain de Moor