* Between The Sea (the Med) and The Alps -- {Pronounce: ontruh la mair eh lay zalp}

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

TTF - A little old winemaking town

Tripping Through France - Chapter 5

Chablis 01

As we were traveling down the countryside, we found ourselves surrounded by vineyards.  France is full of vineyards.  But we happened to be in the Chablis region, which is a popular wine in America, so I thought you might be interested in how your wine gets its start.

This little roadside map shows the various areas in which the different qualities of grapes are grown.  I think.  It's rather confusing, but it looks so pretty, I just wanted to include it!


Chablis 02
Explanatory panel

While most wine drinkers are familiar with Burgundy, which is normally a red wine, Chablis also comes from the Burgundy region, but as a white wine. 

Perhaps many people don't realize that French wines are typically named for the region where they are grown rather than for the variety of grape.

Beaujolais also comes from this region, and the whole area isn't all that far from the Champagne region, geographically.  It seems to me that the vines are all grown totally differently in various regions.  Where our wine friends are, everything is pretty flat.  They get a lot of wind, so they have to keep the vines short.  Here, they are kept low to the ground against the cold.  In Germany, they grow all over very steep hillsides.

I know that the climate and the soil itself make a big different in the taste achieved, but I don't know if the contours of the land also have an effect or not.  This is how your Chablis typically looks.

Chablis 03
Chardonnay grapes growing to make Chablis wine

Chablis 04 
Ye olde watering hole for the vines
Doc Leo was rather impressed with this irrigation station and wanted me to include it, too.

Chablis 05
A three-flower village

But the real thing I wanted to show you was the actual town of Chablis itself.  It was just one of the prettiest little places we went through, at its summertime best. 

It only has about 2,500 residents, and sadly much of its old original buildings was destroyed by a German bombing raid in June, 1940. 

Happily, what does remain is definitely worth seeing.  I think many old structures are from around the 16th century.

It also participates in an annual national flowered town competition, which gives between one and four flower points.  Chablis has earned three flowers, amazing for such a small town, and it's easy to see how.

Chablis is situated on the Serein River, which seems like a totally appropriate name.  This defense watchtower was built in 1585 and provides a peaceful, picturesque scene today.

Chablis 08
Serenity under the watchtower

It was this flowered bridge and canal that caught my attention in the first place, and the remaining ancient buildings really add to the charm.

Chablis 06
Earning those three flowers
Chablis 07
Hotel rooms with a view

Chablis 09
Everyday neighborhood tower
Chablis 10
Remnant from the past

As we didn't really stop long enough to fully tour the village, I just have these two last interesting photos to share.  They add a little to the overall ambiance, don't they?

So the next time you decide to relax with a nice cool glass of dry white Chablis, you'll be able to imagine the environment from which it originated.  And maybe your experience will be much more rewarding.

Next chat will involve a bit different kind of nature I hope you'll enjoy.  Keep in touch.
Remember, you can always tap a smaller picture to get an enlarged view.


  1. But wait a minute! Where's the part about all the wine you got to taste? Once again, it's all so green and the flowers are so beautiful...

  2. Those photos are beautiful! Looks very relaxing!


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