Chablis, France

Although it’s most famous for its liquid assets, Chablis has much more to offer than just a good vintage: vineyard-scattered valleys make excellent wines and even better views; and centuries-old châteaux Ancy-le-Franc, Bazoches and Ratilly dot the already impressive landscape. Nearby Abbaye de Fontenay may be the best-preserved Cistercian Abbey in the world, but the vintners at Saint-Bris-le-Vineux also know a thing or two about ageing well – their underground cellars hold bottle upon bottle of top-quality wines. The northernmost district of the Burgundy region, Chablis has a clutch of towns and villages, all brimming with local charm: Noyers-sur-Serein, Tonnerre and the larger capital, Auxerre, are home to bustling markets, cobbled streets lined with independent shops and picturesque, weathered-stone buildings.

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When to go

The harvest is between September and October; when visitors and locals alike pitch in, helping to hand-pick the ripened grapes.

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Getting there

  • Planes

    The closest airport is Paris Orly, a two-hour drive (www.airport-orly.com). British Airways run frequent direct flights from most international airports.
  • Trains

    Auxerre-St Gervais Railway Station is the closest. Regular SNCF trains arrive from Auxerre, Paris, Lyon and more (www.sncf.com). Alternatively, ride the Eurostar to Paris’ Gare du Nord, hire a car and drive to Chablis from there (www.eurostar.com).
  • Automobiles

    If you’re driving from Paris (be warned – the Périphérique can be overwhelming for first-timers), hire a car at one of the airport or station booths, then take the A6 to get to Chablis.