During my trip in Burgundy I left the best till last: for me, the best white wine in the world comes from a narrow strip around 25km in length on both slopes of the river Serein in north Burgundy. I refer of course to the Divine Chablis.
There is a disproportionate amount of Americans, Australians, New Zealanders, Brits and generally English-speaking tourists in the village of Chablis. Is it the wine, or have they all read the bestseller Midnight In the Garden of Good and Evil or seen the film with its haunting heroine, drag queen Lady Chablis, I often wondered..
To Franck, a very knowledgeable guide with a passion for wine, it is easy: tourists are simply attracted by the wine which has a worldwide reputation. The grounds, the vineyards and, subsequently, the quality of the wine are divided into Petit Chablis (flat land or plateau), Village (vines see little sun), Premiers crus (better soil, more sun) and Grands crus (great soil and south-facing slopes). He explained the difference between oak and stainless steel barrels; the ageing of the wine, the tending from the frost, the pruning of the vines and the vaccination against diseases; the use of plants for insecticides leading to organic viticulture; I certainly recommend Franck’s Vititours.
Tastings of course is what Chablis is all about, so we soon ended up in the winery of Jean-Marc Brocard where they kindly indulged me in some vertical tasting (same wine, different years) although horizontal would be a better description of my state afterwards. Everyone was spitting, but not me: hey, I can hold my Chablis, even at 11.30am.
Being slightly stonkered is the best way to visit the delightfully weird Wine and Corkscrew museum at domain Alain Geoffroy. You wouldn’t have thought it, but the museum exhibits 3,000 different corkscrews. Many of the them are X-rated and they, of course, are the most fun.
If you are under 18, don’t look!
But then again, if you’re under 18, you’ve Googled them already..