A new study of the Beaujolais terroir has just been authorised in order to create the first ever classification.
There are two studies planned, according to Guillaume de Castelnau, director of Chateau des Jacques in Romaneche-Thorins and vice president of the Union des Crus de Beaujolais.
The first, which will be carried out by the company Sigales for over €30,000, will examine the soils and hilly topography of Beaujolais.
A second study, to be carried out by La Sicarex, a research centre within the Union, will examine the climate of the appellation’s various regions.
‘No one today can give you a specific plan of the soils and topography of Beaujolais; we need to clearly identify and define the lieu dits,’ said de Castelnau.
‘Beaujolais has the terroir to make great wine, but we have been saddled by the Beaujolais Nouveau image and are 50 years behind the times,’ he added.
The Union has also hired a legal team to anticipate any disputes that could arise from a new classification.
There are also plans to conduct both internal and external communication campaigns to publicise the studies.
The final stage will see the French appellation authority, INAO, taste the wines to establish a stylistic link between the study-defined terroirs and the wine, de Castelnau said.
‘We are in the middle now of setting up the protocol for the tastings,’ he added.
Although well known for its fresh, fruity primary style, Beaujolais includes 10 village-based wine appellations – such as Morgon, Moulin à Vent, Fleurie and Cote de Brouilly – which make age-worthy wines.
Written by Panos Kakaviatos in Beaujolais