The secret behind Chablis Grand Cru wines is the very specific terroir from which they come. In fact, the particular combination of climate and soil type in Chablis is often held as the ideal example of the influence of terroir on wine. This effect reaches its peak on the Grand Cru sites, where the Kimmeridgian soils bring crisp, fresh minerality to the wines, complemented by the balanced acidity and sugars brought about by a cool growing season and extended hang time. Kimmeridgian soils are rich in limestone formed from fossilized sea shells deposited millennia ago when European topography was vastly different.
Chablis Grand Cru is one appellation, but consists of just seven precious vineyards: Les Clos, Blanchot, Bougros, Valmur, Grenouilles, Vaudésir, and Les Preuses. Coming exclusively from the right bank of the Serein, the Grand Cru vineyards of this Burgundian region make up an ensemble of only 240 acres (accounting for just three percent of Chablis' total production). Coupled with the fact that grape yields are also much lower for Grand Crus than for other Chablis sites, the wines are relatively scarce and command pretty high prices. But wine lovers the world over are willing to pay for these kings of the appellation, which are always well formed and complete with an affirmed character that is only enhanced with time.