Check Many Top Things I learnt about the Beaujolais wines and the wine production process
Well, as you probably know by now, I have been a total novice in the area of wine…(well a big novice in France as well!) so I keep on exploring and learning new things whenever I have a chance, whenever there is a good time to do it and whenever my camera is ready to be taken (so always!)
The last time i decided to follow Route des vins du Beaujolais and learn more about Beaujolais Area, about the Lyonnais Speciality Wines, about the Wine Production process and here are the top things I learned from my ‘educational’ trip (and once I came back…as the trip gave me inspired to learn even more)SO check out the list of new things I learnt about Beaujolais and its wine!
- The Beaujolais wines are being produced by the grapes which have been collected by people. This means that Beaujolais is the only region where the hand harvesting is mandatory.
- The grapes of Beaujolais region are called Gamay. They have thin skin and are low in tannins. Ideal for the production process used in this area, This type of grape has been around since the 1300s, yet many wine drinkers are not familiar with the name.
- Beaujolais Nouveau is the only type of wine called vins primeurs. It means that the wine is bottled, sold and can be consumed in the same year it is harvested precisely just after 6-8 weeks after harvesting thanks to the winemaking process called carbonic maceration. This technique keeps the fresh, fruity quality of the wine, without extracting bitter tannins from the grape skins. The other types of Beaujolais wines have to age for at least one year and are kept in the cellars usually much longer.
- The tradition of drinking wine just after harvesting comes from the 19th century. During that time ‘the year’s wine would finish its fermentation in cask when it was being transported to Lyons.
- Beaujolais Nouveau should be served slightly cool at least at the room temperature of about 13 degrees when the wine is more refreshing. For other Beaujolais wines the recommended temperature is 16-18 degrees.
- Only 1% of all the production of Beaujolais wine is the white wine. About 1/3 of the whole Beaujolais production is covered by Beaujolais Nouveau. This wine is very popular thanks to the marketing campaigns but does not have great reputation among French people. Its very popular abroad.
- Beaujolais Nouveau cannot be made from grapes grown in the 10 crus (great growths) of Beaujolais-only from grapes coming from the appellations of Beaujolais and Beaujolais-Villages.
- The third Thursday of November is the date when the Beaujolais Nouveau it is usually, on the stroke of midnight is the moment when Beaujolais Nouveau is after harvesting and released for sale. This opens the wine festiva. There are over 100 Beaujolais Nouveau-related festivals held in the Beaujolais region. The most famous festival, Les Sarmentelles, is held in Beaujeu, the capital of the region, and it lasts for days.
- The other Beaujolais wines cannot be drunk in the year of their production. They should be kept for at least one year. But many traditional wine growers will keep the wines for many years in their cellars. The best recent Beaujolais vintages were: 2011, 2009, 2007 and 2005
- Over 1.1 million cases of Beaujolais wine (most of it Beaujolais Nouveau) had to be destroyed or distilled due to bad publicity made by the French wine critic François Mauss in a local newspaper Lyon Mag. He called the Beaujolais Nouveau wine the vin de merde (shit wine)
- The Beaujolais region has one of the highest vine density ratio of any major, worldwide wine region with anywhere from 9000 to 13,000 vines per hectare.Did you learn something new today? I hope so! I hope you liked it and can appreciate wine even more…I do now…
I do appreciate all the hard work people need to put to produce a bottle and the fact that this is such a fragile business and it takes so much time for a wine to be good one! I also appreciate and discover new tastes so finally i will get the one I am going to stick to…Happy Wine Tasting!