The Climats of Chablis : micro-terroirs

Berdiot, a flag-bearing Climat

Prononciation - Chablis Premier Cru Berdiot    Prononciation - Chablis Premier Cru Berdiot

Chablis 1er Cru Berdiot

Here we must take a dip in the dialect of the patois bourguignon! From the verb "berdôler", meaning "to roll down a slope".

Located on the right bank of the Serein, this Climat is rarely featured and does not usually appear on labels, thus remaining unrecognized. Its wines are often simply labeled as Chablis Premier Cru without any further details. Lying on the heights of the village of Fyé and facing southwest, this Premier Cru and its neighbor Côte de Vaubarousse form a steep amphitheatre, which is quite unusual.

This name could have several different origins, ranging from Oïl (a Romance language spoken in the Middle Ages) to Burgundian patois. The most plausible explanation is the word "beurdôlée" which means a steeply sloping terrain. In fact, one just has to leaf through a regional dictionary to be sure of it; the verb "beurdôler" means "to roll down a slope".

Climat Berdiot

Côte de Vaubarousse, a flag-bearing Climat

Climat Côte de Vaubarousse

Prononciation - Chablis Premier Cru Côte de Vaubarousse    Prononciation - Chablis Premier Cru Côte de Vaubarousse

Chablis 1er Cru Côte de Vaubarousse

The word "rousse" refers to the color red. Two possible explanations for this; iron oxide or vines reddening in autumn frosts.

Located on the right bank of the Serein and facing southwest, Côte de Vaubarousse and its neighbor Berdiot form quite a steep amphitheater. Like its neighbor, it is one of those unrecognized flag-bearing Climats. It can be found in bottles simply labeled as Chablis Premier Cru without any further details.

As in the case of the Climat Berdiot, the name Côte de Vaubarousse is not usually found on a label of Chablis 1er Cru.

Vaubarousse? What could such an unusual name mean? To some, it might refer to the red earth (the red clay silt from the neighboring plateaus) that was carried over by erosion. To others, Côte de Vaubarousse would have been prone to frost. The old folk would say their "bas" (low) vines were "roussies" (scorched).