Scenes from Chablis

Adam Gollner traveled to Chablis along with photographer William Hereford to commune with the people of Chablis, get rare glimpse of the simple, sturdy foods they eat at home, and taste the world's most complex, bone-dry, vein-chillingly pure chardonnays at their source. Here, some scenes from their travels. Read the full story »

Chablis (pop. 2,366) is a “rainy, cold, hardscrabble place where it often seems that villagers would prefer if outsiders stayed away and let them craft their finicky, terse wines in private.” Luckily for them, the vines serve as a natural barrier.
The Droin family is amongst the oldest in Chablis, and now works 26 hectares of vines. Since 1620, fourteen generations of vignerons have transmitted their "savoir-faire" down from father to son. In 1965 Jean-Paul joined the family business and learned his profession from his father, Paul and grandfather, Marcel. In 1999, his youngest son Benoit (pictured here) started working at the Domaine and is now chief winemaker at the new winery built at the foot of the Grand Cru vineyards. You can find their wines online here.
Winemaker Alice de Moor serves up butternut squash risotto at her home in Courgis, a small village 7 km southwest of Chablis. The de Moors make wines quite different from those of mainstream Chablis—no filtering and fining, no artificial yeasts. “We wanted to make wines the way we wanted to drink them,” says Alice.
Winemaker Julien Brocard with his wife Laurence Brocard.
Jean-Marc Brocard, the biggest family-run domaine in Chablis, crafts classy and widely available wines. Their Chablis Les Cieilles Vignes de Sainte Claire is vinified in stainless steel tanks and comes from vines planted in 1949.
Cows roam and fog lifts on the hills of Chablis.
Laurent Tribut comes from Epineuil, where his uncle had a single hectare of vines; but with his marriage to Marie-Clotilde Dauvissat—the sister of winemaker Vincent Dauvissat—he became a Chablisien. His house is on the main street of Poinchy, with solid 18th-century cellars underneath; here he vinifies the grapes of about 5 hectares of vines.
A sample of local specialties at Charcuterie Marc Colin. This beloved local charcuterie offers prepared foods and cold cuts as well as an ultra-clean, AAAAA andouillette—the celebrated tripe sausage of France.
Margaux Laroche is the daughter of Michel and Cécile Laroche, owners of Domaine d'Henri. The vineyard used to belong to Michel's parents, Henri and Madeleine Laroche; Margaux is the youngest in the family to carry on the legacy, and is a passionate home cook: "For me, wine can't go without food." Get her recipe for Seared Scallops with Steamed Brussels Sprout Leaves here.
Olivier de Moor and his wife Alice founded their vineyard in 1984; there, they make natural wines that are totally organic and without any additives, other than a little sulfur. You can find a few of their wines for sale online.
A lunch of Chablis and oysters—their most popular companion—at Jean-Marc Brocard.
Growing up in Courgis, Thomas Pico inherited a passion for making wine from his father and grandfather, both winemakers themselves. After studying viticulture, he took over 6 hectares at the family domaine named “Bois d’Yver.” There, he created his own domaine, named Domaine Pattes Loup.

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