Among the great wines of the world, no region has more life and energy than Beaujolais. But while in-the-know sommeliers clamor for limited-production cuvées and consumers flock towards festive bottles each November, there is more to Beaujolais than meets the eye. Beyond the fun Beaujolais, the Beaujolais Nouveau wines that made the region a household name, there are Beaujolais of character, and even Beaujolais of exception.
It’s these wines of character, which are produced across the entire region, that now best define the expressive personality of Beaujolais. To bring them to the forefront, the region welcomes a new slant on traditional dining. Welcome to Beaujonomie, a movement that embraces the nuance and character of Beaujolais wines by sharing them with good food, good moments, and good people.
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 ten 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 a Vent, each cru has individuality, but a thread of continuity runs through all ten, connected by quality, depth, and expression.
The Beaujonomie Lifestyle
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.
The region is serious about sharing these Beaujolais of character, which is why Beaujolais is setting out to spread Beaujonomie among the masses. Trade attendees of VinoVision in Paris and Prowein in Düsseldorf already had the opportunity to preview Beaujonomie at the region’s stand and dedicated tasting experience this winter. Beaujolais also brought Beaujonomie to New York in May with an event for key influencers and consumer readers of VinePair. Held in the penthouse suite of the Hotel Indigo, attendees sipped Beaujolais and shared an array of tasty bites, mingling and snapping photos in a Beaujolais photo booth.
That’s just the start of the exciting months ahead for Beaujolais wines. From East Coast to West, Beaujolais is traveling to U.S. food and wine festivals all summer and fall. Wine lovers can experience the wines of Beaujolais at the Wine Riots in Atlanta and Chicago, Feast Portland in Oregon, and Taste Williamsburg in Brooklyn, while trade members will drink Beaujolais at the Society of Wine Educators Conference in the Finger Lakes and SommCon in San Diego.
Oenophiles need not wait until Beaujolais comes to them in order to celebrate, though. Beaujonomie is an everyday, everywhere movement for everyone, and it’s easy to partake. Simply set out a few family-style dishes, find a bottle of Beaujolais, share with friends, and enjoy the Beaujonomie way of life.