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Macon and Beaujolais wine tour

Beaujolais & Maconnais

General Information

Macon-Beaujolais wine region video clip

The Beaujolais region is a large and exceptionally pretty area with small villages and slopes planted almost exclusively with Gamay grapes. It extends from the city of Lyon to the town of Mâcon, being about 55 km long and 12 to 15 km wide. Administratively, Beaujolais is the southern district of the Burgundy region, but the red wine of Beaujolais is so different from those in the rest of Burgundy made from a different grape variety grown in different soil and a warmer climate that Beaujolais can be considered to be a wine region of its own.

The Gamay grape, granite soil and the carbonic maceration process used by most producers here, combine to produce wines with vibrant fruitiness and almost no perceptible tannin. Beaujolais is between red and white wine, with the color of the former and the easy drinkability of the latter. Despite its reputation as being a wine that must be drunk young, good Beaujolais can actually mature and evolve in the bottle for a surprisingly long time.
Negociants dominate the Beaujolais scene (Georges Duboeuf); they buy grapes and wine from private growers and then blend, bottle, and sell the wine under their own labels. But there are many fine small growers, and wines from single estates are generally higher in quality.

The Mâconnais vineyards meet the Beaujolais vineyards on their southern border; they extend from Tournus in the north to St-Vérand in the south and include the appellation of Pouilly-Fuissé, which produces fine white wines.


 Image guide to the wine regions of France
Alsace Bordeaux Medoc Bordeaux St-Emilion Bordeaux Sauternes Burgundy Côte d'Or Beaujolais / Macon Burgundy Chablis Champagne
Jura Languedoc Loire Valley Provence Rhone North Rhone South Roussillon Savoie
  Appellations Click on image for larger view  

Beaujolais Appellation

AOC Beaujolais is the basic appellation. The wines originate almost entirely from the southern part of the region, where the soil is sandy and clayey. They account for about half of the regions total production.
They are generally light-bodied with low tannin and pronounced, youthful fruity aromas and flavors. They are wines to drink young, in the first year after the harvest.
The appellation Beaujolais Superieur is basic Beaujolais wines that have higher minimum alcohol content.

Beaujolais vineyard image Beaujolais vineyards, Burgundy wine region photo Beaujolais vineyards photo Beaujolais appellation vineyard photos and Images
Beaujolais vineyards image Beaujolais vineyards photo Picture of Beaujolais vineyards Beaujolais appellation vineyards photos and images

Beaujolais-Villages Appellation

This appellation comes from grapes grown in the territory of 39 villages in the northern part of the region. The village name can be mentioned if the wine comes solely from that vineyard. They account for 25 percent of all Beaujolais production.
With the schist and granite soils of the north, these wines are fuller, but still fruity, fresh, for consuming young, until they are about 2 years old.

Picture of Saint Julienas vineyards Picture of Saint Julien village in Beaujolais Picture of a wine tasting place in Quincie en Beaujolais Beaujolais-Villages appellation photos and images
Picture of Beaujolais vineyards in Burgundy wine region of France Vineyards picture of Fleurie in Beaujolais, France wine region Photo of Fleurie and Morgon vineyards in Beaujolais, France wine region Beaujolais-Villages appellation vineyards photos and images

Beaujolais Nouveau

It differs from other Beaujolais wines according to how it is made. The grapes are harvested in the Beaujolais and Beaujolais-Villages vineyards in late August or September. About two-thirds of the wine from these areas is made into Beaujolais Nouveau. It is vinified and bottled as fast as possible, to ensure the wine is bursting with youthful fruitiness. By mid-November, the wine is already bottled and on the third Thursday of November, wine drinkers all over the world open bottles to celebrate the harvest. It is the lightest, fruitiest of Beaujolais.

Picture of Quincie en Beaujolais village, France wine region Vineyards of Chiroubles picture in Beaujolais, France wine region Maconnais-Beaujolais wine route sign picture Beaujolais villages photos and images
Gamay grape picture, Beaujolais Nouveau wine grape Vineyard picture of Beaujolais, France wine region Picture of Gamay grape, Beaujolais Nouveau wine grape Beaujolais Nouveau wine grape photos and images

Crus Beaujolais

The best wines come from 10 specific zones in the northern half of the region with granitic soils. They carry the name of the area where the grapes grow. The best cru wines, when aged for 6 to 7 years, can achieve a positively Burgundian gamay complexity. They are firmer, richer and more refined than other Beaujolais wines. Each has its own character.

The 10 villages from north to south are: St-Amour, Juliénas, Chenas, Moulin-a-Vent, Chiroubles, Fleurie, Morgon, Régnié, Brouilly, Côte de Brouilly.

Beaujolais Julienas vineyard photo, France wine region Signpost for Cru du Beaujolais wines and vineyards picture, France wine region Beaujolais Saint Amour wine makers signpost image, France wine region Crus Beaujolais vineyard photos and images
Picture of Regnie-Durette village sign in Beaujolais, France wine region A Beaujolais winery sign photo for Fleurie, Morgon and Chiroubles wine tasting Picture Moulin a Vent  vineyards signpost in Beaujolais, France wine region Crus Beaujolais wine and vineyard images and photos

MACONNAIS REGION

The Mâconnais is the meeting point of northern and southern France. The grape harvest is earlier than the Côte d'Or, producing wines with richer, riper flavors.
The strength of this large district, northwest of Mâcon, lies in its fruity whites made from Chardonnay. Only a quarter of the district's wines are red, generally produced from the Gamay grape and sold under the generic appellation controlée Bourgogne.

Maconnais vineyard image Rock of Solutre or Roche de Solutre photo Maconnais vinyards image Macon wine and vineyards photo and images
Picture of Maconnais vineyards Macon vineyard picture Photo of a village and vineyards Macon wine and vineyards photos

Mâcon and Mâcon-Villages

The most basic wines are sold as Macon or Macon Superieur, but wines of much greater character are Macon-Villages. The word "Villages" often being replaced on the label by the name of one of the 43 villages entitled to the appellation, such as Macon-Lugny.
About 90 percent of Macon wine is made by cooperatives.

Picture of vineyard in Macon-Villages appellation Vineyard photo in Macon-Villages appellation Vineyard image in Macon-Villages Appellation Macon and Macon-Villages photos and images
A Macon village photo, France wine region Photo of a Macon village and vineyards, France wine region A Macon wine village photo, France wine region Macon and Macon-Villages photos and images

Pouilly-Fuissé

Part of the huge white wine-producing district of the Maconnais, the wines of the appellation of Pouilly-Fuissé, made entirely with the Chardonnay grape, are some of the most famous white Burgundies in the world.
The vineyards lie at the base of the ancient Rock of Solutre and around the villages of Pouilly and Fuissé, which give the name to the appellation. The Chardonnay grown on these limestone soils tends to be richer.

Wine road photo in village of Fuisse Macon wine road photo in Pouilly-Fuisse appellation Picture of Pouilly village in Macon wine route Pouilly-Fuisse and wine road photos and images
Fuisse vineyard photo Village of Fuisse vineyard Photo Roche Solutre and Pouilly-Fuisse appellation vineyard photo Pouilly-Fuiss vineyards photos and images
 
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