The northernmost wine district in Burgundy is not only home to some of the most sought after vintages, it also happens to be staggeringly stunning. Nicknamed the “Golden Door of Burgundy,” the village of just 2,500 occupants has numerous remarkable edifices, including the City Hall, the Porte-Noël, St Martin’s Church and the Maison de l’Obédiencerie, a historic building in which ancient wooden press is hidden.
But what most visitors truly seek in Chablis is the wine. The flowery, crisp white nectar is made exclusively from Chardonnay grapes and isn’t quite as fruity as other white wines typically found in Burgundy. Monks from the Abbey of Pontigny, upon settling on the slopes surrounding the River Serein in the Dark Ages, realized that the microclimate they found themselves in could only bring novel flavors to their cultivation. Indeed, the chillier temperatures slightly stimulate the acidity of the grapes, which is only further enhanced by the stainless steel tanks used by local wine-makers, rather than traditional oak tanks.
There are various vineyards and cellars open to visitors in Chablis, each worth a visit; the most popular one being William Fevre, where wine aficionados can taste different Chablis wines by the glass and eat regional delicacies in the atmospheric setting of the village’s historic hospital, surrounded by 51 hectares of vineyards.
Visitors can access Chablis by car from Dijon via the A38 and the A6 in about an hour and a half (85 miles/137 km), as well as from Paris via the A6 in just under two hours (116 miles/187 km). William Fevre (10 rue Jules Rathier) is open every day from March to November, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 1:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. On Sundays, they are open from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.