The Carillon family domaine dates back to the 16th century. The winemaking tradition has been passed down from father to son since 1632 when a Carillon viticulteur is recorded, and even since 1520 when a Jehan Carillon is mentioned in archives. The family still occupies the same site as they did then in Puligny-Montrachet, between the church and the old château which belonged to the original nobles of the village. The motif on their label, showing a grape harvesting knife and the year 1632, is a reproduction of a carving above the door frame. The cuverie is built with the stones of the old château. Over the years, additional buildings throughout the village were added to the Carillon’s holdings and converted to winemaking facilities. Today François Carillon leads the estate, crafting wines of tradition and finesse that show an extremely deft use of oak. The domaine produces Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru, villages Puligny-Montrachet, several Puligny-Montrachet Premier Crus, villages Chassagne-Montrachet, Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Crus, a Saint-Aubin Premier Cru, and Bourgogne Chardonnay and Aligoté.
As one of the most popular grapes for growing and consuming, Chardonnay can be made in a wide range of styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. These styles can vary from a sparkling Blanc de Blanc, or fresh fermented in stainless steel, to rich and creamy white wine aged in oak barrels. While Chardonnay can flourish in many environments, in its homeland of Burgundy it can produce some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. Whereas from California it can produce both oaky, buttery styles as well as leaner, European-inspired wines. A Somm secret: the Burguny subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style with high levels of acidity. Most people who do not like oaky/buttery Chardonnay may likely enjoy Chablis.
Notable regions for this grape include Burgundy (and Chablis) in France, Central Coast, Napa, and Sonoma in CA, and Western Australia.
When pairing with meals, consider the characteristics, flavors, and acidity of your food first. You always want to try to match the same characteristics and intensities with your wine. No brainer pairing options include seafood, salads, and white meat. Chardonnay, with its vast versatility, is everyone’s best friend.