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Wine Tour Chablis
With such a compact area it is possible to visit a wide range of wineries and cellars in a day. Our suggestion is to divide the area up and do the villages of Ligny-le-Chatel, Maligny and La Chaelle one day, followed by the Grand Cru vineyards round the town, and then the villages to the east of Chichee, Chemilly-sur-Serein, Fleys and Poilly-sur-Serein.

With such choice we have only given one example of a cellar to visit.

Corinne et Jean Pierre GROSSOT

Corinne and Jean Pierre Grossot represent the third generation of winemakers at their family domaine. The Grossots cultivate 18 hectares of Chablis vineyards, centered in the village of Fleys, just east of the town of Chablis on the road to Tonnerre. Their production is about two thirds Chablis AOC and one third of the Premier Crus Mont de Milieu, Vaucoupin, and Fourneaux. Wine maker Jean-Pierre Grossot seeks to produce exceptional Chablis wines -- and especially Chablis AOC -- by keeping the rich Chardonnay fruit, the unique mineral quality of the Kimmeridgian soil, and the lively fruity acidity and bouquet, in perfect balance.

The grapes are hand-harvested and gently pressed in a horizontal pneumatic press to ensure the fullest extraction of flavors and aromas. The juice ferments very slowly at low temperatures in stainless steel tanks, and after a first racking, the wines rest in tanks to develop. Depending on the vintage, Grossot may block the malolactic fermentation in order to ensure that his wines retain their fruity acidity and crispness, so essential for great Chablis. Bottling is usually done one year after the harvest. Grossot’s commitment to making high quality Chablis wines has brought him international acclaim, particularly in the Revue du Vin de France, The Wine Spectator and Decanter.

The Chablis AOC
The Chablis Premier Cru Fourneaux
The Chablis Premier Cru Vaucoupin Grossot
The Chablis Premier Cru Mont de Milieu

A delightful cellar with English speaking hosts.

Tour—Northern Burgundy

Wine area—Coteaux du Chatillionais

Within 45 minutes drive of Chablis lies the Coteeaux du Chatillionais. The area is centered on the town of Chatillon sur Seine. The vineyards are on sloping ground facing the south. The main grapes grown are Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. It is the place to visit to sample the local sparkling wine, Cremant. This “champagne” style is absolutely delightful. Many local producers will welcome you to their door with a glass of wine to taste and an invitation to explore their cellars.

Claude GHEERAERT Vigneron

Our Cremant search took us to Claude Gheeraert’s vineyard and tasting room at Mosson, 9 kms north of Chatillon-sur-Seine. Excellent hospitality with award-winning Cremant de Bourgogne (featured in Hachette 2007 guide). They also make a very good Chardonnay and Pinot Noir based Bourgogne Rouge and Rose.

Ampelopsis—wine museum

I’m not a great museum person, but the wine museum Ampelopsis at Massingy, 6 kms north of Chatallon sue Seine, is exceptional and a must see. They have a video presentation, heaps of exhibits, and an outdoor “vineyard” featuring the grapes of France from the north to the south. Plus they have a very good tasting cellar.

Distillerie Georges Decorse

Distilling used to be commonplace in France with many wineries having their own still plus numerous travelling stills that went from village to village turning out spirit that was either drunk as brandy or used to fortify wine. However legislation has forced the closure of all but the largest distilleries. A number of distillers who were born before WW2 continued within the confines of their own village or vineyard but these have all but disappeared. Therefore it was a real gem to discover , Georges Decorse in the village of Millieres, 40 kms from Langres Georges had taken over from his father and produced a wide range of spirits including an excellent Pear William. An enjoyable tasting session!

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