Beaujolais Wine Region Guide

Where Elegance Meets Tradition, Far Beyond the Nouveau Hype


Last updated: March 15, 2024


It’s easy to snigger at Beaujolais. In the 20th century, a phenomenon known as Beaujolais Nouveau (very young, fruity wines quaffed in the fall) went from being in vogue to tragically passé almost overnight. In the 1970s, Nouveau accounted for roughly half the region’s annual production; Beaujolais’ image suffered as consumers began to tire of this money-making gimmick. But we should not let memories of ‘Naff Nouveau’ detract from Beaujolais’ immense strengths: unique terroir, superb red wines, and incredible value. At its best, the Gamay grape can produce structured, aromatic, and concentrated wines of real class – bottles a world away from the hackneyed trick of bubblegum-flavored plonk. Make no mistake: Beaujolais is a diverse and complex vineyard with several crus (individual terroirs) and various styles. It deserves a second chance.

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James lawrence

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