The Beaujolais Region
Beaujolais red wines: the magic of an exceptional terroir
The Beaujolais region, in the south of Burgundy, nestled between the cities of Mâcon and Lyon, is certainly a favourite meeting place for all epicureans, but not only. Between vineyards and forests, lovers of good wines will be taken by a rich heritage, unspoiled nature, and wide-open spaces. La Vallée de la Gastronomie - France® helps you plan your stay.
The terroirs to the north of the Beaujolais region produce a range of wines with a strong personality that honours the regional gastronomy. To discover these famous Beaujolais wines let yourself be guided by the names that line the road, Saint-Amour, Juliènas, Brouilly, Moulin à Vent and others.
The Beaujolais vineyard stretches over more than 17,000 hectares and covers rolling hillsides as far as the eye can see. Made from the Gamay Noir grape variety, it is all the richness and complexity of the terroir that are revealed in a wide range of fine and aromatic wines.
The vineyard is composed of two appellations, Beaujolais, and Beaujolais Villages, and ten crus: Brouilly, Chénas, Chiroubles, Morgon, Côte de Brouilly, Fleurie, Juliénas, Moulin-à-Vent, Régnié, and Saint-Amour. Not to be forgotten, the star of the vineyard, the Beaujolais Nouveau, is released worldwide on the third Thursday of November and gives rise to many festive celebrations.
The Beaujolais red wines make up 95% of the production and come from a grape variety producing white juice. The result is fresh and tasty wines with aromas of red fruits (raspberry, blackberry, cherry) and spicy or floral notes.
Even though each wine has its own specificities, they are all particularly well balanced. Usually served at a temperature of 15 degrees, they make a perfect match for the local gastronomy, also to be discovered. They are as well very well suited to accompany grilled dishes, poultries, or light cheeses
Discover all the wines of the Beaujolais vineyard
Every 3rd Thursday of November for more than 40 years, the Beaujolais Nouveau's arrival is celebrated with pomp and enthusiasm. Les Sarmentelles de Beaujeu mark the new production kick-offf, this spectacular evening takes place in a convivial and shared atmosphere.
If the red wines of Beaujolais are the most emblematic, thanks to their popularity, the region is full of other nuggets waiting to be discovered. Did you know that Beaujolais wines come in white and rosé?
Get off the beaten track and take advantage of a stay in the Beaujolais region to discover pleasant wines that will surprise you. The whites are made from Chardonnay in the north and south-west of the vineyard and south-west of Villefranche-sur-Saône.
They are available under the appellations Beaujolais blanc, for white, revealing aromas of white flesh and citrus fruits, and Beaujolais-Villages blanc, with floral and mineral notes. They are best served slightly chilled between 10 degrees and 12 degrees and are a good fit for fish, white meat, goat cheese, or desserts but also as an aperitif.
Beaujolais rosé wines are made from gamay noir grapes and their white juice, like all the red wines of the 12 Beaujolais PDOs (Protected Designation of Origin). They too hold the European PDO label as well as the French label AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée). Fresh in the mouth (served at a temperature of 8 degrees to 11 degrees), they give off scents of citrus and tangy red fruits and are very well appreciated for summer lunches, barbecues, or aperitifs
Typical Beaujolais recipes and dishes
In 2018 the Beaujolais region was promoted to the rank of UNESCO World Geopark. It owes this promotion to its extreme geological wealth and its unique biodiversity. Explore the bowels of the terroir and discover the emblematic landscapes of the Beaujolais region.
The cuisine of the Beaujolais region is influenced by the neighbouring metropolis of Lyon, a true gastronomic capital. Pork based dishes are very popular local specialties: Lyon’s cooked cured sausage, chitterlings sausages also known as andouillettes, tripe, or kidneys.
If you prefer lighter dishes, try the Beaujolais salad which consists of garlic croutons, bacon bits, salad, a poached egg, and a few walnut kernels. The famous quenelle, another local delicacy, is a must of the Beaujolais region: plain or with pike, it is a dumpling prepared with butter, eggs, and flour.
Poultry lovers will enjoy coq au vin, the chicken is cooked with garlic, bacon bits, Paris mushrooms, carrots, aromatic bouquet, and Beaujolais red wine.
Accompany all these dishes with local wines for a real firework in the mouth!
For dessert, the bugne is a classic coming from the doughnut family. Soft or crunchy, rectangular or diamond-shaped, they are cooked in very hot oil and flavoured with cognac or rum, and a zest of lemon or a drop of orange blossom. Traditionally eaten during the carnival period (February), they are nowadays found all year round in the bakeries.
Some ideas of activities to discover the region
From his enchanting Beaujolais landscape emanates soft and particular light. The villages have taken on the warm tones of limestone, everywhere the stones' gold shines in the vines setting. The village of Oingt, one of the "most beautiful villages in France", dominates the Beaujolais region in all its glory.
Are you looking for ideas for your holidays in the Beaujolais region? La Vallée de la Gastronomie - France® offers you a wide range of activities with carefully selected partners.
Discovering the wine estates is always a favourite. Take a trip along the wine route and stop off at wineries or châteaux to learn how wines are made: make your proper blend, understand how best to combine wines and dishes, taste or even take part in a grape harvest. You will meet passionate professionals who are keen to discuss and explain their work.
Our site also presents a wide range of gastronomic restaurants, some of which are Michelin-starred. This is the occasion to live a unique culinary experience that will make your taste buds crackle as you discover traditional and revisited local dishes.
To take the pulse of the Beaujolais region, nothing beats a stroll through the small local farmers markets: discover fine local products from sustainable or organic farming, bite into seasonal fruits and treat yourself to local delicacies.
Visit the La Vallée de la Gastronomie – France® website and put together an original and tailor-made program for an unforgettable holiday.
Organize your stay in the Beaujolais region with La Vallée de la Gastronomie - France®
Do you want an innovative and personalized trip to discover world-renowned vineyards that still conceal lesser-known and surprising treasures? Don't wait any longer and explore the Beaujolais region, an authentic territory that will delight lovers of nature, culture, and gastronomy. By yourself, as a couple, with family or friends, a variety of activities are on offer to satisfy everyone's desires and leave long lasting memories