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Bourgogne wine, Chablis Premier Cru appellation - Butteaux

Chablis Premier Cru Left Bank.
Spelled “Butiau” in 1484, certain etymologists believe the name of Butteaux refers to an inhabited place or a farm, but this seems improbable as only shelters made from dry stone like winegrowers' shelters could have been built here. Others believe the word “but” (root or block of wood) has Frankish origins, and would suggest a cleared forest, and is a possibility when one realizes that a neighboring Climat is indeed called Forêts. This toponym suggests a “butte” (the upper part of a hill), and this is no doubt the correct hypothesis.



Bourgogne wine, Chablis Premier Cru appellation - Chapelot

Chablis Premier Cru Right Bank.
This name, pronounced “Chaplot”, most likely comes from the word “cape” or “capel” (cape), supported by the fan-like shape of this Climat. Or it could be a diminutive of the word “chape” (roof, shelter or lean-to). 



Bourgogne wine, Chablis Premier Cru appellation - Chatains

Chablis Premier Cru Left Bank.
Spelled “Chastein” in 1429, this Climat has chestnut-brown earth from the past erosion of the plateaus. 



Chaume de Talvat

Bourgogne wine, Chablis Premier Cru appellation - Chaume de Talvat

Chablis Premier Cru Left Bank. Principal Climat.
The name of the Chaume de Talvat Climat has several possible roots. The word “chaume” in the feminine means thatching used to cover roofs, or what remains in the fields after harvesting. The masculine form describes a bare, arid stretch of landscape where sheep pass. A neighboring lieu-dit is called Chaume des Boutons. Of course, the name “Boutons” is a corruption of the word “moutons” (sheep) and is a fine example of how names can become deformed over time.
One might also consider the first three letters — “tal” — which is a word of Gallic origin that when Latinicized gives “talutium” (talus or embankment). There is a place nearby called Replat de Talval, where “val” means valley. Together with “tal”, this could suggest the two sloping sides of a valley.
Chaume de Talvat, located in the village of Courgis, could therefore describe the upper part of a hillside that is dry and difficult to cultivate, above a steeply sloping terrain.


Les Clos

Bourgogne wine, Chablis Grand Cru appellation - Les Clos

Chablis Grand Cru
Vines were planted before 1267 in this Climat, which was spelled “Le Clou”, “Les Clous” or “Le Clox” in 1537. Many lieux-dits share variations of this name in the Bourgogne region such as Les Closeaux, Clouzeaux and Cloux. Previously, the very best vines were surrounded by stone walls marking out the property, preventing erosion, protecting the winegrowers from bad weather or hot sun, and preventing animals getting in or even thieves from stealing the grapes. 


Côte de Bréchain

Bourgogne wine, Chablis Premier Cru appellation - Côte de Bréchain

Chablis Premier Cru Right Bank.
Côte de Bréchain, spelled “Bruchen” in 1477, used to be pronounced “Beurchain”. The name probably does not come from the word “beurche” (a place far from other houses), but rather has its roots in the word “brèche”, (breach, hole). Indeed, there are many fissures in certain parts of the limestone rock near the village of Fyé, and during very cold winters, water vapor can be seen escaping from them.