Beaujolais Nouveau originated about a century ago as a 'vin de l'année' - a cheap and cheerful drink produced by locals to celebrate the end of the harvest season. The Beaujolais AOC was established in 1937, and after WWII, the wine was sold outside of the area. By the 1970's, Beaujolais Nouveau day was a national event.
The region of Beaujolais is 34 miles long from north to south, and 7 to 9 miles wide. There are nearly 4,000 grape growers who make their living in this picturesque region just north of France's third largest city, Lyon.
The Gamay grapes that go into Beaujolais Nouveau are handpicked, as are all the grapes in the Beaujolais. Beaujolais & Champagne are the only vineyards where hand harvesting is mandatory. Gamay (Gamay noir Jus Blanc) is the only grape permitted for Beaujolais.
Beaujolais Nouveau cannot be made from grapes grown in the 10 crus (great growths) of Beaujolais; only from grapes coming from the appellations of Beaujolais and Beaujolais-Villages. Approximately 1/3 of the entire crop of the Beaujolais region is sold as Beaujolais Nouveau.
Nouveau is made with carbonic maceration, or whole-berry fermentation. This technique preserves the fresh, fruity quality of the grapes without extracting bitter tannins from the grape skins.The result is an easy-drinking, cherry-red, tasty, clean wine that is best served chilled. Beaujolais Nouveau is meant to be consumed young, within 5-7 months.
Light, fresh, fruity wine, easy to drink. Serve chilled.
100% Gamay grown on granite and sandy soils.
Vinification: 5 days of carbonic maceration (whole cluster fermentation), followed by 7 to 10 days of maceration, pigeage (punch down of the cap) and delestage (racking).
Pairings: Beaujolais-Nouveau has been very popular with almost every Thanksgiving dish - turkey, ham, green beans, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce.
Domaine Descroix is a fourth-generation family winery, founded in 1905 & currently owned by Xavier Descroix. The winery is located in the village of Lantignié, north of Beaujolais, right next to Beaujeu (the historic capital for which the Beaujolais region is named). Lantignié encompasses the crus Régnié, Brouilly and Morgon.
The vineyard measures 11.27 hectares total (27.84 acres), broken down as follows:
- 9.75 hectares in Beaujolais and Beaujolais Villages AOC, located in the towns of Beaujeu and Lantignié. Soils are made of granite and sand, resulting in fruity wines with character.
- 0.56 ha in Brouilly AOC, located in the town of Saint Lager, at the bottom of Mount Brouilly, on schist-based soils. The wines are fruity with good concentration.
- 0.69 ha in Morgon AOC, located in the parcels called “Grand Cras” in Morgon. Soils are made of manganese and granite and produce typical and powerful wines.
- 0.27 ha in Beaujolais Villages Blanc and Bourgogne Blanc planted with Chardonnay and situated in Beaujeu, on very steep slopes made of clay and granite soils, with a southern exposure.
The wines are vinified, aged and bottled at the winery, combining tradition and modern technologies. They work in respect of the terroir and the environment, focusing on low yields to obtain high quality grapes. They aim to produce Beaujolais wines that are authentic and true to the appellation. They sell 50% of their production in bulk to négociants; the rest is sold at the property and exported.
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