This Weekend @ The Tasting Bar

This Weekend @ The Tasting Bar

May 03, 2024

Time to taste some of the best Burgundy has to offer!



A subregion of Burgundy, Chablis as a region is one of the most internationally recognized from France. So synonymous is the wine with its name that more often than not do people realize that Chablis is indeed Chardonnay. In fact, Chardonnay makes up for one hundred percent of the grapes grown in Chablis. The region is divided into four appellations: Petit Chablis, Chablis, Premier Cru Chablis, and Grand Cru Chablis in which both physical boundaries as well as production caps play a role in how each wine is labeled.  

Winemakers in Chablis are exceptionally proud of the soil in which their grapes are grown. Chablis lies in what was once covered by an ancient ocean. The sedimentary subsoil in the area is called Kimmeridgean and it dates back to the Jurassic period some one hundred fifty million years ago. The Kimmeridgean element of the soil in Chablis is riddled with limestone deposits, gray marl, and countless fossils which winemakers in the area attribute the minerality of their wines to. Modernity has proved to be a friend to winemakers and grape growers in Chablis with the effects of climate change having a positive effect on the semi-continental climate of the area in which spring frosts and cold wet falls would prove to be a challenge to local viticulture. The total area of vineyards in Chablis has expanded to over ten times its size at the beginning of the modern wine era. Phylloxera and both World Wars left the region hanging in the balance of uncertainty, but with annual outputs of almost three hundred thousand hectolitres (over thirty-nine  million bottles), there is no sign of production slowing down. 

What sets the wines of Chablis apart from other Chardonnays is the fact that these wines are largely unoaked, though some wines with a higher cru designation are often rested in neutral oak. Chablis might be the purest expression of Chardonnay, a stark juxtaposition to the opulent and oaky American style which the grape has become synonymous with. A typical Chablis will be bright with notes of citrus, while blossoms, pears and even flint. 

Drouhin Chablis (All Vine Arts Locations)

Joseph Drouhin is a family owned estate which has been producing wines in Burgundy since 1880. The estate, which now encompasses 93 hectares of vineyards, has grown exponentially with the bulk of vineyard acquisitions occurring during the mid-twentieth century. The family had long held land scattered throughout the region but in 1960 became heavily interested in Chablis, snapping up some 40 hectares in the heart of the appellation. In the later part of the last century, after taking over the helm of the operation, Philippe Drouhin (fourth generation of Drouhin men to oversee the family estate) became deeply invested in the long term health of the family’s vineyards and began to make a pivot towards organic and biodynamic agriculture. 

Their Chablis is an awesome example of what Chablis should taste like. It was grown in the northernmost part of the appellation amongst a circle of sloped hillsides where the history of Chardonnay goes back hundreds of years. Grapes for this wine are a combination of family owned vines as well as some fruit purchased from local growers. Made simply and with the utmost care, this wine is fermented in stainless steel before it matures for seven to ten months in stainless steel. 


Located at the southern end of Burgundy, Beaujolais is known for its juicy yet rustic reds. Now I may be biased because my first wine love was Beaujolais, but I think a good bottle of Beauj can be the answer to any wine centered emergency. 

Beaujolais as an appellation was formed in 1938 after the distinctive nature called for a separate classification and identity away from the Pinot based reds from further north within Burgundy. There are twelve appellations within the region, each of them with their own subtly different takes on the Gamay based wine. Gamay as a grape is a bit of a workhorse in that it is able to thrive in countless soil types, be it the clay-ey and chalky soils of southern Beaujolais or the sandy soils of Northern Beaujolais nearest to Saint-Amour and Moulin-a-Vent which also have sizable granite deposits. Gamay has been planted in the area since the seventeenth century and accounts for 98% of the wine being produced in Beaujolais (the other 2% being Chardonnay). 

Domaine Chermette Beaujolais Origine (YYC Vine Arts)

The beginning of this Domaine dates back to the late eighteenth century though the production of wine would not begin until the tail end of the nineteenth century. Things were going as well as they could with the onslaught of phylloxera, but when Pierre-Marie Vissou died in battle at the early outset of the First World War things seemed to take on an air of uncertainty. Pierre-Marie left his estate to his granddaughter, a woman who had been raised in the Loire Valley and who knew very little about viticulture and what it takes to run a winery. With most of the country’s men sent to fight a war that would take another four years to subside, she had the odds stacked against her but made it through to the other side. Following the second world war, the Chermette family’s name and wines began to gain acclaim with many entries into Beaujolais wine competitions. 

By the nineteen eighties, a new generation began to breathe new life into the family operation with a new Pierre-Marie at the helm. Pierre did not shy away from being critical of his family’s output, striving to craft wines with zero defects. In 1986 a restaurateur of Michelin acclaim named John Brouilly met with Pierre-Marie to discuss the direction of Beaujolais wines and how a partnership would be mutually beneficial. The partnership proved to be fruitful, the Cuvée Traditionnelle Vieilles Vignes (now known as Origine) was a smashing success and has been featured at Brouilly’s restaurants as well as bistros across Paris ever since. Their agreed upon style of winemaking features no commercial yeasts as well as zero chaptalization (a process of adding sugar to grape must prior to fermentation to boost the final ABV of the product) resulting in pure delicious wines swirling with aromas of raspberry, cherry, and a of bouquet of blossoms. It was this cuvée that initiated the winemaking style of the estate.

The Chermette philosophy on winemaking is simple; their motto is, “The art of making wine the closest to the grape.” They seek to complete the vinification process with as little intervention as possible and have a very concerned interest in sustainability. No pesticides, herbicides, or insecticides are employed in any of their vineyards and they have eschewed tilling their vineyards which has positive regenerative effects on the soil. 

The Origine, their flagship cuvee is emblematic of the partnership between John Brouilly and the domaine from all of those years ago. It is 100% Gamay grown on 35-100 year old vines in Saint Vérand. All harvesting was done by hand and half of the grapes underwent carbonic maceration (a process of fermenting grapes as a whole which in turn makes for fruitacious light bodied reds with almost bubblegum aromas) before the maceration period of 6 days on the skins occurs before resting in stainless steel. Minimal SO2 is added as needed. 

Le Cret De Bine Bio Addict Beaujolais (YEG Vine Arts)


The story of Le Cret de Bine is a love story, of how François and Marie-Therèse Subrin fell in love with the terroir of Beaujolais and set up their lives and their business in accordance with honouring the place that they love so dearly. 

Their vineyard, a one plot planting on sandy granite laced soils, is at a higher elevation than the neighbouring farms which allows for very little affectation from outside influences on their grapes. They farm entirely biodynamically and have done so since 2008, making the pivot in farming style after the vineyard had been in their family for several generations. This back to basics approach has allowed them to honour that love of Beaujolais in all of its simplicity. It has also inspired their team to focus on the entire ecosystem within their vineyard. They strongly believe that encouraging a better balance between human and wildlife is a proof of quality of life and quality of wines.

The Bio Addict is “fruity and delicate. Its intense cherry colour, its small red fruits aromas and its spicy finish in mouth will perfectly fit casual meals and aperitives.”


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