This advertising content was produced in collaboration with our partner, Inter Beaujolais.
Among U.S. sommeliers, retailers, and wine professionals, Beaujolais has become one of the most beloved regions in the world, known for versatile, expressive wines that are built for food. But even for those who are well-versed in the region’s myriad wines, there is so much more to discover, from reds, whites, and rosés to Beaujolais AOC, Beaujolais Villages, and crus.
That’s why the region is bringing a selection of Beaujolais producers to the U.S. on the four-city Meet the Makers tour this month. From May 22 to 25, trade professionals have an opportunity to experience the depth of Beaujolais with the winemakers who know it best.
“Beaujolais is a hidden treasure,” says Anaëlle Joret, the export manager for Inter Beaujolais. “Less than five percent of French still wines exported to the U.S. are from Beaujolais. There is room for U.S. professionals and consumers to discover more.”
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Though part of Beaujolais’ appeal is its easy entry—it relies on just the Gamay grape for its red wines, which comprise 94 percent of production, as well as its rosés, and just Chardonnay for its white wines—it’s a surprisingly diverse and exciting region as well. Many soils come together to create a rich and complex terroir, spread across landscapes with varying exposures.
The famed 10 crus of Beaujolais, clustered in the north, are spread across hilly landscapes with a diversity of soils. The region then makes its way through Beaujolais Villages as it moves south into Beaujolais AOC, a wider, sunnier area with plenty of room for exploration. Throughout the region, producers craft both easy-drinking, everyday options and exceptional, layered cuvées that can compete with the best in the world. Regardless of prestige, each Beaujolais wine showcases the terroir of its origin.
While the region is best known for its red wines, Beaujolais is not defined by a single color. “Chardonnay from Beaujolais has a small production, but it’s certainly a hidden gem, revealing striking expressions,” says Joret. Nor is it defined by the ubiquitous Beaujolais Nouveau, the “friendly and fun” young wine that puts consumers in a celebration mindset each November.
Attendees of the Meet the Makers tour in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, and Los Angeles can explore all of this diversity in person. Each event will kick off with a panel discussion led by a local sommelier, which will feature a curated tasting of Beaujolais wines. Sommeliers taking part include: Sarah Pierre, the owner of 3 Parks Wine Shop in Atlanta, Georgia; Fernando Beteta MS, the founder of PopSomm; Erik Segelbaum, Advanced Sommelier, and the founder of Somlyay and GoodSomm; and Josh Orr, MS, the Southern California sales manager of Broadbent Selections. The producers showcasing their wine are Domaine de Boischampt, Zest Of, Château de Lavernette, and Château de l’Éclair. Following the class, further selections from each vintner will be poured during a walk-around tasting.
Professionals will leave with an understanding of the “spirit of sharing,” which Joret identifies as part of the DNA of Beaujolais. “It is a great opportunity to talk with Beaujolais producers, taste several Beaujolais appellations, and rediscover the potential of only one red and one white grape,” she says. For those who already have a deeper understanding of the region, Meet the Makers allows professionals to learn more about winemaking techniques, pioneering sustainable practices, soil specificities, and beyond.
Beaujolais has already won over the U.S. wine industry with its high quality, history, and value, but rarely is there a stateside opportunity to put faces to these delicious wines in person. With the Meet the Makers tour, now is your chance. Learn more about Beaujolais and its wines here.
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