Beaujolais winery experiences
The Beaujolais wine region is located in Eastern France, South of Burgundy and north of Lyon. It is known for its rich, vivid red wines made from Gamay grapes, and it is one of the few wine areas in the world to concentrate on a single grape variety.
The young, juicy Nouveau wines of Beaujolais propelled the region to fame in the nineteenth century. These wines are sold and consumed just weeks after harvest, with no barrel ageing, and are officially released on the third Thursday in November.
Although Beaujolais is most known for these light and fruity red wines, the region also produces Beaujolais Blanc from Chardonnay and Aligote and Gamay wines of excellent quality.
After it was decided that the wines from Beaujolais were sufficiently distinct in identity, an independent AOC was established in 1938. The region has a slightly warmer climate than its northern neighbour, Burgundy, but is not as warm as the Rhône to the south.
The proximity of Central France to the west and the Alps to the east tempers Beaujolais' climate, which is borderline continental. The northern portion of Beaujolais has undulating granite hills with patches of clay and limestone, but the southern part has richer clay and sandstone-based soils and a flatter topography.
In contrast to the lighter, younger-drinking, fruitier style of the south, the north's terroir is a prominent feature, creating fragrant, structured, and sophisticated wines. Villefranche sul Saȏne is the Beaujolais region's largest town, and it serves as an approximate border between the "simple" Beaujolais region to the south and the Crus & Villages of Beaujolais region to the north.
Beaujolais wines are classified into three categories: Beaujolais, Beaujolais Villages, and Beaujolais Crus.
Beaujolais AOC wines are straightforward and delightful, mainly from the south. These wines are considered Festive by the French and are ideal for parties and hangouts, whereas Beaujolais Villages AOC wines are from more prestigious terroirs in the northern half of Beaujolais. These wines are known as expressive wines in France, and they are suited for slightly more elevated cuisines due to their added structure and depth.
The ten Beaujolais 'crus' – 10 vineyard locations acknowledged as the best in the area — create the region's highest-quality wines. Each of these 10 Crus - Brouilly, Chenas, Chiroubles, Cote de Brouilly, Fleurie, Julienas, Morgon, Moulin-a-Vent, Regnie, and Saint-Amour)- have their unique appellation titles.
Use our itinerary planner to help plan, create, and book the ultimate wine tourism experience. You can choose to self-drive or pick a guided boutique wine tour with a local insider who's knowledge will enhance your regional experience.