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Beaujolais Nouveau

Designation (also Beaujolais Primeur) for a Beaujolais already marketed in the year of harvest; see there.

The French wine-growing region is part of Burgundy in terms of wine law and is located in the extreme south of this wine-growing region. Historically, however, Beaujolais has never been part of it. An exception is the northern part, which belongs to the département of Sâone-et-Loire and thus administratively to Burgundy. The major part, however, with the capital Villefranche-sur-Saône, belongs administratively to the Département Rhône and thus to the Rhône-Alpes region. The southernmost part of the Beaujolais forms its own appellation, Coteaux du Lyonnais. This is an ancient wine-growing region, as, among other things, remains of Roman vineyards have been discovered at Mont Broully (one of the cru communes). In the 7th century AD, Benedictine monks planted more vineyards. This is therefore a very old wine-growing region.

Beaujolais - Weinberge

The name derives from the Burgundian high noble family of the Beaujeu, who ruled here in the period from 950 to 1400. At the foot of their castle fortress, the small town of Beaujeu was founded in the 10th century. Its independence from Burgundy came with the edict of Philip II the Bold, Duke of Burgundy (1342-1404), which banned the cultivation of the Gamay grape in Burgundy proper. Until the middle of the 17th century, however, viticulture played only a minor role here. This was also due to the poor transport possibilities of the wine to the large places of purchase, the wine was therefore mainly consumed in the area itself. It was not until the construction of the Briare Canal, which connected the Loire and Seine rivers from 1642 onwards, that the market finally opened up to Paris.

Area, soil and climate

The area extends over 50 kilometres in length and 30 kilometres in width. To the east lies the Sâone river valley, and to the north borders the Burgundian area of Mâconnais, with which Beaujolais overlaps to a small extent. There are two distinct geological areas. In the north, where the best quality wines are produced, granite predominates, but in the south limestone is predominant. The temperate climate, ideal for viticulture, has continental, Atlantic and Mediterranean influences. The vineyards occupy some 22,000 hectares of vines at an altitude of between 200 and 450 metres in 96 municipalities. The market is dominated by large winegrowers' cooperatives. Around 2,500 winegrowers own only small vineyards of a few hectares.

Karte von Beaujolais / Karte von Burgund

Production of Beaujolais

The red Beaujolais is mostly produced from the classic Beaujolais grape Gamay, whose special feature is its white pulp (the full name is Gamay Noir à Jus Blanc). Nowhere else does this variety have any significance. It accounts for 99% of the vineyards. This extreme monoculture resulted...

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