Definition - What does Beaujolais mean?
Beaujolais is a French wine region established in 1936 with AOC status. The region is located north of Lyon, France and makes up the northern part of the Rhone-Alpes area into the Saone-et-Loire region of Burgundy.
The region of Beaujolais is traditionally known for its Beaujolais Nouveau wines made via the method of carbonic maceration. In the region, 90% of wines are red made from Gamay and the remaining 10% of whites are made from Aligote and Chardonnay.
WineFrog explains Beaujolais
Beaujolais is often considered to be part of Burgundy, however, it falls under its own region and is similar in climate to the dry, warm climate of Rhone with a semi-Mediterranean climate. The region covers over 44,000 acres (18,000 hectares), and the soils of Beaujolais consist of schist and granite in the upper regions, with clay and stone covering lower-lying regions.
The wines produced in this part of France are those which are the first to be released following harvest each year, are young wines made via carbonic maceration and are not aged in oak. Generally, these wines are young, fruity and are not meant to be cellared, with the exception of Beaujolais cru wines.
The classification of Beaujolais wines are as follows:
- Beaujolais AOC
- Beaujolais-Villages AOC
- Cru Beaujolais: wines which are recommended for up to four to 10 years of age:
- Cote de Brouilly
- Beaujolais Blanc & Beaujolais Rose