Quick facts on Beaujolais

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
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

Vineyards and the village with church. Morgon, Beaujolais

Vineyards and the village with church. Morgon, Beaujolais, copyright BKWine Photography

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