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L’Homme Mort

Bourgogne wine, Chablis Premier Cru appellation - L’Homme Mort

Chablis Premier Cru Right Bank
There used to be a small cemetery at the entrance to this valley, part of the neighboring Roman settlement. A few sarcophagi containing skeletons from the Merovingian era were uncovered here, and as with many other places in France, this discovery gave rise to the name of L'Homme Mort (dead man). Some etymologists also suggest a corruption of “l’orme mort” (the dead elm), as these old trees were sometimes used to define boundaries.

  

Les Lys

Bourgogne wine, Chablis Premier Cru appellation - Les Lys

Chablis Premier Cru Left Bank.
The name Les Lys was first mentioned in the early 19th century. Prior to that, this plot was called Champlain, and maps from the late 18th century mention a path above these vines called the Chemin des Lis. From 1816 onwards, a few landowners nicknamed their vines Champlain after of the nearby path, and were soon imitated by others. Then on the land registry of 1829, the upper part of the lieu-dit of Champlain was officially called Les Lys by a surveyor.
The name probably comes from the word “lisière”, which in turn is derived from the word “lis”, from the Latin “licium”, (border, edge or frontier). The Chemin du Lis still separates the two hills here and snakes its way to the edge of the woods. It is the etymology of this path that convinced the land surveyor to officialize the name Lys in 1829 for the upper part of Champlain in order to distinguish it from the lower part, which is now part of the Chablis appellation. 

  

Mélinots

Bourgogne wine, Chablis Premier Cru appellation - Mélinots

Chablis Premier Cru Left Bank.
Pronounced “Minots” and spelled “Mélynot” or “Mélinot” in 1537, this name could have one of two origins. Either it comes from the words “moulin” (mill) and “moulinot” (little mill), because in the past, winegrowers used to use little windmills made from iron boxes filled with stones to scare away badgers on the scavenge for grapes. Or, more likely, its roots stem from the name of certain Chablis families called Mélin and Méline who grew vines in the Middle Ages. This could thus be transformed into “Mélinots” meaning “Mélin’s children”.

  

Mont de Milieu

Bourgogne wine, Chablis Premier Cru appellation - Mont de Milieu

Chablis Premier Cru Right Bank. Principal Climat.
Mont de Milieu was pronounced “Mont de Miyeux”, and was spelled “Montmelliant” in 1218, and “Mont de Milleux” in 1398. The name refers to the peculiarity of this hillside that used to have a boundary running through its middle (“millieu”) - between the jurisdiction of Chablis, which used to be located in the county of Champagne, and that of Fleys, in the Duchy of Bourgogne. 

  

Montée de Tonnerre

Bourgogne wine, Chablis Premier Cru appellation - Montée de Tonnerre

Chablis Premier Cru Right Bank. Principal Climat.
Spelled in this way in 1537, the lieu-dit of Montée de Tonnerre is located along the former Roman road linking the city of Auxerre with that of Tonnerre. This is where the path used to climb up (“monter”) the hill to the plateau on top. 

  

Montmains

Bourgogne wine, Chablis Premier Cru appellation - Montmains

Chablis Premier Cru Left Bank. Principal Climat.
In 1537, there were several variations in the spelling of the name Montmains, such as “Mont Moen” and “Montmoyen”, or even the spelling we use today, “Montmains”. The name describes the medium-sized mountain that is lower than two surrounding peaks.