Chardonnay is the rare pearl in the winegrowing area.
It is the exception to the rule in an area where Gamay is king. Chardonnay represents just 2% of overall production in the region. Over 400 winegrowers toil to bring out the best in Chardonnay in the Beaujolais and Beaujolais Villages AOC growing area.
This white grape variety is found in the far north of the winegrowing area bordering on the Mâcon region to the south-west of Villefranche-sur-Saône. It grows in the triangular area of land between Liergues, Bois d'Oingt and Bully.
It does best on marl or limestone soils. The relatively infertile ground is its preferred environment.
Its compact clusters of grapes produce plump round berries with delicate white skins.
It is the most commonly used white grape variety in the world. It is widely used in Burgundy where it originated.
Its strength lies in its huge capacity to adapt. It can adapt to any kind of terroir, where it reveals local characteristics.
In temperate areas like the Beaujolais region, it produces soft fleshy wines with citrus or white fruit (e.g. peach) aromas.
Unlike its red counterparts, the grape in the Beaujolais region is pressed as soon as it arrives in the cellar. It then ferments for around a fortnight to produce the region's white wines. These wines are a blend of freshness and intensity, roundness and finesse. Occasional vanilla, dried fruit and butter notes highlight the complexity of these wines.
That's the real strength of the Beaujolais region: a winegrowing area that produces three colours of wine from superior varieties. Plenty to delight every palate.