(Pronounced – bow-JZOH-lay)
Beaujolais, in the southern reaches of Burgundy, France, is a unique region as every one of its wines are made from a single variety, the red grape Gamay. The granite soils and warm, but not too warm climate mean that Gamay flourishes here more than anywhere else in the world. The wines produced are soft, fresh and fruity, generally maturing early, though the winemakers of Beaujolais will tell you that the wines from the best villages will age well for upto a couple of decades.
Also adding to the fruitiness of Beaujolais is the unique winemaking procedure called Carbonic Maceration, where the whole unbroken berries and surrounded by Cardon Dioixde and encourage to begin fermentation within the berry before being crushed and undergoing a traditional fermentation process.
Beaujolais, like most of the other French regions, has its own ranking or quality-control system. It is rare, however, for anything other than the top-ranking AC Beaujolais-Villages (a wine made from blend fruit from the 38 village communes or sub-regions) or the second-ranking, though more individual, Villages wines made from one of the top 10 Village crus or highly rated vineyard areas. These crus are Brouilly, Chenas, Chiroubles, Cote de Brouilly, Fleurie, Juilenas, Morgon, Moulin-a-Vent, Regnie and St Amour.
The better producers of Beaujolais you are likely to find in Australia are Georges Duboeuf, Joseph Drouhin, Henry Fesse, Dominque Piron and Jean-Charles Pivot.
Australian produces of Gamay include Bass Phillip (Gippsland), Eldridge Estate (Mornington Peninsula and Sorrenberg (Beechworth).