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The main dates

1st century

The village of Chablis goes back to the Roman period, with the construction of 4 major villas.

The vines were pulled up under the Emperor Domitian (81-96), but were replanted under Emperor Probus (276-282)

9th century

867 - Charles the Bald had a small church built at the mouth of the valley of Vaucharmes, dedicated to Saint Marie, to thank God for his victory at the battle of Fontenoy.

Fleeing the Vikings who were sailing up the Loire, the Benedictine monks from Tours took refuge on the banks of the Yonne in the Saint Germain abbey in Auxerre (around 20 kms)

But, they still feared the arrival of the Vikings up the Yonne, so Charles the Bald gave them the village of Chablis. They soon received donations and inheritances, notably in the form of vineyards, to assure the holy office, to meet their needs in wines, and to be able to receive the poor and their guests.

12th century

1114 - The Cistercian monk Hugues de Mâcon founded the nearby abbey of Pontigny, which soon became renowned and received donations of vines in Chablis to meet its needs.

It was mainly these Cistercian monks who then developed the Chablis wine region.

13th century

The churches Saint-Martin and Saint-Pierre (the patron saint of Chablis),  the Hôtel Dieu, the Saint-Cosme priory, the Petit Pontigny and the petite arche du Pont were built in Chablis.

1405 - The construction of the walls of the Bourg or lower town was financed by taxes. Vintners had to hand over 10% of their harvest for a period of 8 years.

14th century

Chablis wines were transported to Paris via the River Yonne long before the advent of the railways, and graced the tables of the Kings of France. From there they set off to conquer the world.

The earliest written record of a transaction involving Chablis wine concerned the purchase of wine by a merchant from Maubeuge (northern France)

15th and 16th centuries

1537 - Chablis had a population of 4,000 (compared to 2,500 today) and its wines were renowned throughout France

1568 - Chablis was attacked by the Huguenots who burned down the Faubourg (the upper town). The Bourg, which had better fortifications, was ransacked after 3 days of siege.

Prosperity did not return to Chablis for 2 centuries.

19th century

1850 - classification into 1st , 2nd and 3rd Cuvée

Phylloxera and Mildiou were ruining Burgundy and destroying almost all its vines.

20th century

1923 - Chablis wines are legally declared to be made from Chardonnay  rather than Sacy

1938 - AOC Chablis law (20 communes, 7 Grands Crus and notion of Premiers Crus)

1944 - AOC Petit Chablis

1955 - After the Second World War, Chablis had been reduced to just 550ha of vine!

1957 - The vineyards were totally frost ! Wine production began to grow again thanks to the introduction of mechanization and heating in the vines.

1970 - The abundant vintage marked the return of wealth to Chablis

Nowadays, the Chablis wine region comprises 5,400ha under vine.