Champagne, France, Chablis

Champagne is a wine region to the north-east of Paris where wine has been grown since the Romans first planted in the 5th century and the region is most well known for the Sparkling wine that goes by the regions name.

Champagne is made from 3 grapes. The two red grapes Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier and the white grape Chardonnay. All three are commonly blended though a ‘blanc de blanc’ meaning ‘white from white’ indicates that only Chardonnay was used. Conversely a ‘blanc de noir’ or ‘white from black’ indicates that the two red grapes were used.

A common misconception is that Champagne was invented by Dom Pérignon. Although this is not the case, he made considerable contributions to the quality and production methods used in the region. The very first bottles of Champagne were created by accident, and coined ‘the devil’s wine’ for all the popping corks. Sparkling wine in Australia was referred to as Champagne but this practise has long been disallowed.

Methode Champenoise is the traditional method by which Champagne is produced and if you see Millisime on a bottle, it represents the fact that the wine comes from a particular vintage rather than being blended, which is the more common practice.

Icons such as Dom Pérignon and Krug are world renowned, but we find as much pleasure in the smaller Champagne houses such as Gosset and Jacquinot. Magnums are perfect for the festive occasions and half bottles are also available.
Located in the northern region of Burgundy in France, only a two hour drive southeast from Paris, Chablis is a wine region covering an area of approximately 2,225 hectares.

Like most of France’s oldest wine regions, the Romans were the first to have planted grapevines in Chablis and during the middle ages the Catholic Church too played a big role in building commercial interest in wines from the area. It is believed that chardonnay was first planted in the 12th century and spread throughout the rest of Burgundy from there. Chablis was annexed as a part of Burgundy by the Dukes of Burgundy in the 15th century.

The famous grapevines of Chablis are mostly made up of Chardonnay and because of the cool climate of the area, the wines produced here are usually more acidic and less fruity than those made in warmer climates. The result gives the flinty, dry white wines aromas comprising of nuts, vanilla, butter, lemon, and pear. Unlike most of the other Burgundian white wines which are fermented in a barrel, Chablis winemakers rarely use this method of fermentation in order to keep the oaky flavours at bay. The Chablis vineyards are classified into 4 tiers of quality listed from high to low: Chablis Grand Cru, Chablis Premier Cru, Chablis and finally Petit Chablis. The wines of Chablis generally see less oak than their Burgundian counterparts and in many cases are fermented in stainless steel.
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