“Real Chablis,” I was told while still an apprentice, “comes from Kimmeridgian clay, and if it doesn’t, it isn’t Chablis.” So what is this magical clay, so important that it determines the very essence of France’s most famous white wine?
The secret to chablis’ terroir: ammonite with oysters attached
About 150 million years ago, in the Kimmeridgian era (the upper Jurassic geological period, when dinosaurs still roamed the earth), Chablis and all of Burgundy was an inland sea. Today, Chablis’ marl and clay limestone soils contain copious amounts of oyster fossils and ammonites from that period, and it is these fossils which give Chablis its mineral character, and in the better crus its gunsmokey, flint-like bouquet. more>>