Notable FactsThe northernmost region of Burgundy, Chablis' location is closer to Champagne than its Burgundian neighbor, Cote d'Or. This northern proximity gives Chablis a cool, continental climate. The soil is a limestone base, and in the best vineyard sites that limestone is covered with Kimmeridgian clay, a material that is very high in marine fossils. The climate, paired with these distinctive soils, makes the area particularly suited for Chardonnay - the almost exclusive white grape of the area.
Those who claim not to like Chardonnay will be pleasantly surprised by the uniqueness of Chablis. The winemakers of the region almost always stick to stainless steel for fermentation, and many use no oak at all. If oak-aged, the wine will only be in large French oak barrels, which give the wines flavors that are a far cry from your typical California Chardonnay.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.