Beaujolais faces and personalities
Beaujolais soil has been the cradle to a few celebrated scholars, politicians and scientists. The man who discovered the glycogenic function of the liver, doctor Claude Bernard was born in 1813 in Saint-Julien-sous-Montmelas to where he like to return to write his "Introduction à l'étude de la médecine expérimentale" (introduction to the study of experimental medicine) (1865). Bathed in the fumes of Chiroubles where he saw the day in 1827, Victor Pulliat got interested in botany very early on. His research contributed to the reconstitution of the phylloxera destroyed vineyards by grafting the vinestock on to ‘American' rootstock, this saviour of the vines of France earned him a monument in his home village and a sound reputation with vine and wine specialists. In the same vein as his father, the inventive craftsman, Victor Vermorel set up a Beaujolais vinegrowing research station in the family agricultural machinery workshop in Villefranche. Here, he worked on both his vine nursery and his inventions, including an injector and a sprayer to fight phylloxera of the mid-19th century. While Gabriel and Charles Voisin didn't look after Beaujolais vines, they flew over them. The two brothers were the first people to build aeroplanes industrially and to inaugurate a flight in Europe with a motor driven aircraft. Beaujolais seen from the sky and Beaujolais from the paintbrush of the painter Maurice Utrillo who was inspired by his summer stays at Château de Saint-Bernard. Among those with great destinies, young Antoine de Saint-Exupéry drew quite a bit of attention to himself in the time he spent at Mongré school in Villefranche. In another time, Beaujolais was "Papa Bréchard's" country and home, he was a vinegrower born and bred whose heart was ‘Beaujolais' through and through. Born in Chamelet, Louis Bréchard was a Member of Parliament and confirmed vine unionist. The writer Raymond Dumay also loved this region of which he said in his first wine guide published in 1960 "without Beaujolais, France wouldn't quite be France". A pleasure in gastronomy and words that Colette told when she wrote about the grape harvest at Château Thivin, on the flanks of Mont Brouilly. Finally, between two vines, it wasn't rare to meet Maurice Baquet. The actor and musician who refreshed himself in Villefranche and who enjoyed the Fête des Crus where, he said, "you can approach the human soul".