Quick facts on Beaujolais

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An introduction to Beaujolais in Burgundy

Beaujolais is the southernmost, and biggest, wine region in Burgundy. Here are some quick facts on the district:

  • 22,000 hectares
  • 843,000 hectolitres of wine, of which 266,000 hl is Beaujolais Nouveaux (32%). It used to be even more nouveau, sometimes called “primeur”.
  • Almost all wine is red but there exist some (excellent) whites too, but it only accounts for around 1-3% of production
  • Grape variety: gamay for the reds, chardonnay for the whites. (Some other grape varieties exist but in very small quantities.) The gamay is thin-skinned and light in colour giving light-bodied, fruity and aromatic wines.
  • Grapes are typically trained in gobelet (or similar) and hand picking is compulsory. Experiments are done with cordon royat and machine harvest.
  • Soil is mainly granite and limestone clay
  • Wines are often vinified in carbonic maceration, or semi-carbonic maceration but exceptions exist.
  • There are 3 appellation (AOC/AOP) categories and 12 AOC/AOPs:
    • Beaujolais, 9400 ha
    • Beaujolais Village (without mention of a village name), 6400 ha
    • Beaujolais Cru, where the village is mentioned on the label, each with its own AOC/AOP. (NB: it is just “cru”, not grand or premier)
  • There are 10 Beaujolais Cru villages, each having its own AOC/AOP, roughly from north to south:
    • Juliénas, 580 ha
    • Saint Amour, 325 ha
    • Chénas, 265 ha
    • Moulin à Vent, 655 ha
    • Fleurie, 870 ha
    • Chiroubles, 350 ha
    • Morgon, 1110 ha
    • Regnié, 395 ha
    • Brouilly, 1330 ha
    • Côtes de Brouilly, 310 ha

[box type=”info”]You can find more pictures from Beaujolais and Burgundy on BKWine Photography.[/box]

Harvest workers picking grapes
Harvest workers picking grapes in Beaujolais, copyright BKWine Photography
Road sign to Julienas, Beaujolais
Road sign to Julienas, Beaujolais, copyright BKWine Photography
The windmill at Moulin a Vent in Beaujolais
The windmill at Moulin a Vent in Beaujolais, copyright BKWine Photography
Harvesting gamay in a Beaujolais vineyard
Harvesting gamay in a Beaujolais vineyard, copyright BKWine Photography
The village of Morgon in Beaujolais, Burgundy
The village of Morgon in Beaujolais, Burgundy, copyright BKWine Photography

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