Beaujolais
: The appellations

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

About half of all Beaujolais is sold under the basic appellation Beaujolais, which comes from the Bas Beaujolais and the flatter land to the immediate west of the main north–south autoroute around Belleville. The second most important Beaujolais appellation is Beaujolais-Villages, which must come from the hillier, northern part of the Beaujolais region, its vineyards pushing up into the foothills of the Massif Central. If a Beaujolais-Villages is the produce of just one village or commune, it can append the name of that commune. In the finest sectors of this superior, northern part are the so-called Beaujolais crus, ten named communes or crus whose wines are considered so distinctive, and so good, that they have earned their own appellations. Some of these have the most evocative names in the wine lexicon, but their existence as separate entities can be confusing for newcomers to wine since there is rarely mention of the word Beaujolais on their labels. For more details of individual cru, see, approximately from north to south, st-amour, juliénas, chénas, moulin-à-vent, fleurie, chiroubles, morgon, regnié, brouilly, and Côte de Brouilly.