If you believe in the French proverb, there are three rivers that flow through Lyon: the Rhone, the Saône, and the Beaujolais! You’ll hit the road in search of ten different wines: Brouilly, Chénas, Chiroubles, Côtes de Brouilly, Fleurie, Juliénas, Morgon, Moulin à vent, Régnié and Saint-Amour. In addition, there are two regional appellations, Beaujolais-villages and Beaujolais. This wine growing region, which is an extension of the Mâcon region, covers an area that is 55 kilometres from north to south and 25 kilometres from east to west. Enjoying a continental climate with harsh winters and dry periods that are mitigated by the Saône, the vines are sheltered by the Beaujolais Mountains, and it is this shelter that is the source of the varied aromas of Beaujolais wines.
These wines go wonderfully well with the region’s culinary specialities, which is similar to Lyonnais cuisine: red wine to accompany cooked meats including andouillettes (tripe), sabodets (fatty sausages made from a pig’s head, tongue, and other meat) and roasted sausages, not to forget the gratons (cakes of pork crackling), while white wine goes with goat’s cheese and soft cheeses like cervelle de canut.
The 1950s gave us the fashion for “Beaujolais nouveau – sold as soon as it’s ready – mid November.” Now, however, the public is rediscovering Beaujolais’ wine varieties and the two regional appellations, Beaujolais-Villages and Beaujolais.