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Côte de Cuissy

Bourgogne wine, Chablis Premier Cru appellation - Côte de Cuissy

Chablis Premier Cru Left Bank.
Cuissy was the name of a small hamlet that no longer exists, which was in the bottom of a valley between the villages of Préhy and Courgis. The hamlet takes its name from “cortiacu” (farm or estate), corrupted over the centuries into Cuissy. 

  

Côte de Fontenay

Bourgogne wine, Chablis Premier Cru appellation - Côte de Fontenay

Chablis Premier Cru Right Bank.
Côte de Fontenay, known as “La Grand Côte” in 1560, takes its name from Fontenay-prés-Chablis, the village of the fountains that used to feed a lake by which stood a mill belonging to the Commander of St. Marc, the Seigneur of Fontenay. 

  

 

Côte de Jouan

Bourgogne wine, Chablis Premier Cru appellation - Côte de Jouan

Chablis Premier Cru Left Bank. Principal Climat.
Côte de Jouan may come from the Gallic word “juris” (a high-up wooded place) or from the Latin “jugum” (mountain top or fairly high hill), which corresponds to the local topography. Another possibility is that it is a corruption of the forename Jean, perhaps referring to a former owner. “Jehan”, “Juan”, “Jouane”, and then “Jouan”, giving “la côte à Jean” (John’s hill).
Maybe a Jouane from the South of France came to Courgis. On a map dating from 1788, this lieu-dit didn't yet exist. It seems that back then, it was called La Cotte or Chiens Martin, and then Côte de l’Etang in 1830. In the Napoleonic land registry established in 1830, Côte de Jouan does not appear but there is a lieu-dit called Goulot de Jouan, on the other side of the path.

  

Côte de Léchet

Bourgogne wine, Chablis Premier Cru appellation - Côte de Léchet

Chablis Premier Cru Left Bank. Principal Climat.
Pronounced “Côte de l’Chet”, this area was cleared and planted with vines a very long time ago. Léché has been spelled over the centuries by surveyors and notaries as “La Cheë”, “Léché” and “Le Ché”, and the name Côte de Léchet was even substituted with the name Grandes Côtes de Milly in 1610. Perhaps there is a link with the verb “lâcher” (abandon) from the Latin “laxicare” or “laxare”. Perhaps this hill was indeed abandoned for a period. A lieu-dit in the commune of Chichée called Côte Lâche may confirm this.
But “Côte de Léchet” could also come from the word “laîche”, from the pre-Latin word “lisca” referring to a plant that grows in damp places, in which case the bottom of the valley gave its name to the hill.
Another possibility is the Old French word “lèche”, meaning a thin slice of bread, which is at the root of the word “lichette” (a small amount). In some years, after the ravages of frost, shatter, hail and hungry insects, the vines produced so little that a “lichette” was all that remained on this hill!

  

Côte de Savant

Bourgogne wine, Chablis Premier Cru appellation - Côte de Savant

Chablis Premier Cru Left Bank.
One might first think that the origins of Savant can be found in the medieval adjective “savorant” (flavorful), perhaps used to describe the delicious wines from this hill. But the name more likely stems from the word “savée” (a hedge or strip of wooded land). 

  

 

Côte de Vaubarousse

Bourgogne wine, Chablis Premier Cru appellation - Côte de Vaubarousse

Chablis Premier Cru Right Bank. Principal Climat.
There are two possible origins for this name. Firstly, from the erosion that carried the red clay silt from the neighboring plateaus rich in ferrous oxide to the “bas” (bottom) of the hillside making the earth look red or “rousse”. Or alternatively, the bottom of this hill has a reputation for frost and after a heavy freeze, the old folk would say their “bas” (low) vines were “roussies” (scorched), giving the word “basroussis”.