On the banks of the River Serein, Chablis is a pretty little town. Known as the “Golden Gate” of Burgundy, it is famous the world over for its crisp dry white wines. Visitors enter through the turreted towers of the Porte Noël gateway, opening on to narrow stone streets and houses dating from the 14th to 16th century. St-Martin’s collegiate church, whose construction started in 1160, was one of the first French churches of Gothic design. It is a miniature copy of the cathedral of Sens. Saint Martin was known as the patron saint of travellers, and his relics are kept in the church to which he gave his name. The hospice, or Hôtel Dieu, dates from the 12th century. The Petit Pontigny is a set of buildings, surrounded by walls, which is at the centre of all festivities and ceremonies of Chablis and its famous vineyards. Its cellar, also dating from the 12th century, is now the only original part of this property, which once belonged to the monks of Pontigny. Nearby is the St-Cosme priory, which was built in the 12th century by the monks of the Premontré order. It is said that Joan of Arc slept there, one night in February of 1429, on her way to Chinon.
Video: Private Tasting of Chablis Wines at Domaine Laroche
Guests who cruise aboard hotel barges L’Art de Vivre or La Belle Epoque visit the town of Chablis and enjoy an upgraded private wine tasting at the prestigious Domaine Laroche. There, they will also tour the 1000-year-old Obédiencerie, originally part of the monastery of St. Martin, where the monks developed the craft of winemaking in the Middle Ages and where the wines are still aged today.
Its stunning vineyard is great for a relaxing walk through the fresh greenery. While touring their cellars, you can discover the secrets of the Chablis tipple through an interesting tasting session, here you’ll experience the entire process and learn how the wine makes its way from grape to glass. Chablis is a must-visit haven for every wine lover. Besides the winery, the gorgeous sights of the vineyards themselves offer a peaceful, rejuvenating sanctuary.
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