France, Landscapes, Lifestyle, Nature, Road Trip, Tourism, Travel, Wine

On the wine trail: ‘Les Beaujolais Nouveaux sont arrivés!’

“Les Beaujolais Nouveaux sont arrivés!” 

It’s the third Thursday of November, which means the ‘new Beaujolais’ wines are hitting shelves all over the world. We drove through the beautiful Beaujolais region and its picturesque villages, south of Burgundy.

Each vineyard sells its own wines in shops, cellars, and basements, and we stopped by various ‘caves à vins’ to sample the new tinctures. 

The Fête du Beaujolais Nouveau has become a milestone day of autumn, marking the annual release of the region’s vin de primeur (young wine). 

At this time of year the air is brisk and foggy, and the fields are empty… almost empty…

 We picked some of our own grapes in a late harvest – for it to be classified as a Beaujolais Nouveau, the grape has to be harvested by hand!

These young fruity wines are bottled only six to eight weeks after the Gamay grapes are harvested.

Across the board the purple-pink wines lack complexity, have less tannins, but have dominant fruity flavours.

As though the French need another reason to celebrate or drink wine…

The earliest records of the Gamay grape trace it to the village of Gamay in the 1360s, south of Beaune in Burgundy. 

While there’s a lot of excitement around the marketing and release of this wine, it’s a time for all of France to make merry and renew a sense of community and celebration, with fireworks, parades, music, and bars overflowing with people and, yes, wine…

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