by Beaujolais Wine Region
The average American consumer knows young, fruity Beaujolais Nouveau, the friendly and festive beverage released on the third Thursday of November and enjoyed with abandon over the Thanksgiving holiday. But Beaujolais is so much more than Nouveau, encompassing 12 particular appellations, all of which produce wines of character.
The overarching Beaujolais appellation includes wines of all colors – red, white, and rosé – and represents the majority of the region’s vineyard land. Located in the southern and eastern parts of the region, where plentiful sunshine ripens grapes grown over rolling hills and dotted by picturesque villages, Beaujolais AOC uses the Gamay and Chardonnay grapes to create fresh, fruit-forward wines with drinkability and value.
38 of Beaujolais’ best villages are allowed to call themselves Beaujolais Villages, where they make red, white, and rosé wines. Most of these villages surround or are interspersed between the region’s 10 crus, where granite and sandy soil create wines of further distinction than the general Beaujolais appellation. The Beaujolais Villages style can vary depending on village – more southerly villages might have more fruit and ripeness, whereas more northerly ones could be delicate and mineral – but are generally smooth and elegant.
The 10 crus of Beaujolais represent the pinnacle of nuance and structure within the region, each with its own designated AOC. As a whole, they are Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Fleurie, Moulin-à-Vent, Morgon, Chénas, Chiroubles, Régnié, Brouilly, and Côte de Brouilly, but they are not homogenous. From the elegance and florality of Fleurie to the power and structure of Moulin-à-Vent, each cru has individuality, but a thread of continuity runs through all 10, connected by quality, depth, and expression.
The Beaujonomie concept is a play on bistronomie, the casual fine dining trend that has swept through forward-thinking restaurants over the past five years. Bistronomie asserts that good food can be well-crafted and accessible, combining fine cuisine with simple, convivial dining. Beaujonomie takes this mentality and goes one step further, asserting that good wine should be enjoyed in the same way: over a shared table with lively conversation and delicious food. Beaujonomie embraces the new generation of Beaujolais, one that believes that Beaujolais wines should be affordable, yet characterful, unpretentious, yet evocative.