The Beaujolais region has so much to offer! Wine and festivals are of course what first come to mind when you think of this wonderful corner of France, but it’s also a great and original destination where families, couples and walkers as well as food and wine enthusiasts can discover the many faces of this region.
Still not sure? Well, see what you think once you’ve read these 15 good reasons to take a short break in the Beaujolais…
1 – DISCOVER A WIDE RANGE OF WINES FROM THE VINEYARD
The Beaujolais region produces a surprising range of different wines, in red, but also in white and rosé. Not just Beaujolais Nouveaux as you might think!
12 other appellations, all AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) wines, including 10 crus are just crying out to be discovered by your taste buds. Ok, just for you, here’s the list of wines, in alphabetical order of course: Beaujolais, Beaujolais Villages, Brouilly, Chénas, Côte de Brouilly, Chiroubles, Fleurie, Juliénas, Morgon, Moulin-à-Vent, Régnié and Saint-Amour. And there you have them!
2 – STOCK YOUR CELLAR WITH OUTSTANDING WINES
Maybe you have a wine cellar that you’d like to stock with unusual wines that express a wide variety of terroirs? No problem, the Beaujolais is full of them! Get ready to chat with the region’s winegrowers and merchants, who’ll recommend the vineyard’s most beautiful gems.
3 – EXPLORE THE PIERRES DORÉES
La région du Beaujolais doit son charme pittoresque aux Pierres Dorées notamment. 39 villages sont construits avec cette roche ocre jaune qui réfléchit la lumière du soleil et leur donne des teintes chaudes et lumineuses très remarquables.
De ravissantes promenades vous attendent par exemple à Charnay, Marcy-sur-Anse, Theizé, l’Abresle, Saint-Jean-des-Vignes et Oingt.
4 – TRY OUT LOCAL PRODUCE FROM THE BEAUJOLAIS REGION
Even though we find more and more Beaujolais wines on trendy tables, they match perfectly with local culinary specialties in traditional restaurants. Stop off in a friendly Bistrot Beaujolais and enjoy a unique culinary experience with coq au vin, an andouillette from “Chez Bobosse”, some gratons de canard, pike quenelle or a pâté croûte.
5 – Explore the Beaujolais Geopark
The Beaujolais was officially certified as a “UNESCO Global Geopark” in April 2018. Although the region is above all famous worldwide for the quality of its wines, it is now famous for its rich, complex and exceptional geological heritage as well. Between its geo-sites where the remarkable geological phenomena in the Beaujolais can be observed and the geo-activities with their fun workshops, exhibitions, conferences and other events to attend, geo-tourism is booming in the vineyard. To find out more about the Beaujolais Geopark, visit https://www.geopark-beaujolais.com.
6 – GO TO THE WINE MARKETS
As one of the wine capitals of France, Beaujolais has plenty of wine fairs and markets! They’re places where winegrowers love talking to people about their work, their passion and their vintages. You can try the different appellations and pick up some bottles of wine – each with its own story to tell – and take them home with you…
7- CELEBRATE THE BEAUJOLAIS NOUVEAUX
On the 3rd Thursday in November, the whole of France is buzzing as Beaujolais Nouveaux arrive in the bars, restaurants and on people’s tables! Across France, it’s often an occasion to get together with friends and celebrate the new vintage with a good bottle! Just imagine how huge the celebrations are in the region where Beaujolais is actually produced!
Local villages are decked out in banners and pennants, and there are barrels and stands where everyone can share a glass of wine with their neighbors and winemakers. It’s the social occasion par excellence, and it really should be on your bucket list of things to do.
8 – VISIT THE WINE CELLARS
From vine growing to the harvest and winemaking process, everything is done in a particular way in the Beaujolais. Beaujolais winegrowers are delighted to welcome visitors to their cellars and tell you more about how these wines, each the product of very different terroirs, are made.
9 – TAKE A JOURNEY BACK INTO HISTORY
The Beaujolais region has a very diverse and varied history and there are plenty of monuments and castles to visit. History enthusiasts will love strolling around the medieval towns and visiting ramparts, chapels, historic gates and statues from another age.
10 – PICNIC ON MONT BROUILLY
Mont Brouilly’s hilltop summit stands at 484 m above sea level and looks down on the Beaujolais vineyards. It offers a unique view of the entire region…A magical, romantic moment where you can linger with a picnic on one of the picnic tables provided!
11 – DISCOVER THE HEROIC VINES
Les ceps du Beaujolais s’épanouissent sur des coteaux parfois très pentus, des conditions difficiles qu’ils bravent pour donner le meilleur d’eux-mêmes et développer des raisins qui produiront des vins structurés, au goût marqué par le terroir. A Chiroubles par exemple, les vignerons sont, comme leur vignes, qualifiés d’héroïques, tant le travail est manuel et méticuleux sur ces coteaux accidentés.
Le Beaujolais prendra une toute autre dimension quand vous découvrirez ses monts et ses collines sur lesquels reposent ces vignes héroïques !
12. VISIT THE MAISON DU TERROIR BEAUJOLAIS
If you’d like to find out more about the history of the region, visit the Maison du Terroir Beaujolais, which takes you on a gourmet tour of the 12 appellations. It’s also a good opportunity to discover the knowledge and skills of the artisans who make the wine as well as a few winemaking secrets… An interactive, sensory experience for the whole family!
13 – A ROMANTIC GETAWAY IN SAINT-AMOUR
Couples can enjoy a romantic break in and around Saint-Amour-Bellevue. It’s a municipality that lives and breathes coupledom…Stay in the Auberge du Paradis and dine by candlelight in the famous restaurant “Au 14 Février” while trying the famous Saint-Amour cru, of course!
14 – ENJOY THE PEACE AND QUIET OF THE NATURAL SURROUNDINGS
If you want to escape from city life, the Beaujolais region is just the place for you! Surrounded by the Massif Central and the hilly countryside of the Lyon area with its peaceful villages and green rolling hills, it’s the ideal place to recharge your batteries. Imagine a break far from the hubbub of the city, far from your day-to-day worries…
15 – GO FOR A WALK IN THE BEAUJOLAIS
Keen walkers will love the rolling hills of the Beaujolais region that are excellent for themed, wine-related walks. Get fit as you discover the vineyards that shape this region, the charming villages in the Pierre Dorées area, the medieval remains or just the greenery and the countryside.
The Beaujolais region awaits!