On the trail of the cadoles in the Beaujolais region


Cadoles are typical buildings in the Beaujolais region. They are charming, dry-stone huts in amongst the vines. Now often used as places to shelter during storms or to eat a snack or meal, they were once also used as storerooms or, on rare occasions, as a temporary home for winegrowers.

When you're following the Wine Route, see if you can spot these unusual-looking huts, hidden in the heart of the vines…

Cadoles, evidence of a unique past

The word “cadole” originates from the Lyon dialect. Hidden in the middle of the rows of vines, these small huts are usually built with dry stones collected from the ground around them. A few are built in red brick or rammed earth but these are rare.

Don't be deceived by their sometimes slight appearance. They are very sturdy and can weigh up to several tonnes. But the stones used to build them crack in the frost, so most of the cadoles still standing today are not very old. Although some date from the 18th century, the majority are 19th or even early 20th century.

They haven't all got the same structure. Some are circular while others are square with a dome.


… still used today

Although many cadoles have fallen into disuse or collapsed completely, the ones that remain standing are sometimes used as makeshift shelters by winegrowers when it rains or snows. They shelter inside while waiting for the weather to improve.

Some cadoles that were used as temporary homes in the past still have fireplaces, wall cupboards, benches, doors with locks, alcoves and even a cellar.


Cadoles, a tourist attraction in the Beaujolais region

Many tourists first find out about the cadoles when they arrive in the region. On the Wine Route, they notice these buildings hidden in the middle of the vines and wonder what they are. Tour guides and winegrowers love to tell people the history of these stone shelters.

The prettiest ones are in the municipality of Théizé, which still has 25 cadoles spread out in the countryside around Bansillon, Beauvallon and Ruissel. Of particular note are the ones in Berillon and Voyle that are well-known for their amazing pyramid shape.

There are mountain bike and walking circuits from Perréon which take you past the cadoles in the local area. A great opportunity for a picturesque cycle or walk in the heart of the Beaujolais vineyards.

You can also see some huts dating from another era near the municipalities of Cercié, Odenas, Saint Etienne-la-Varrenne and Charentay.


Ready, get set, go!



More on Beaujolais.com : Cadoles et Sens, Foodie outings in Pierres Dorées 

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