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Beaujolais: assessing its premier cru potential

The wheels are in motion for parts of Beaujolais to gain premier cru status in the next decade as recent findings from an extensive soil study reveal a rich mosaic of terroirs. Victoria Daskal recommends 10 wines that succeed in expressing this diversity.

The general saying that the southern Beaujolais growing area is limestone soil and the 10 crus to the north are on granitic soils is, in reality, too simplistic.

A comprehensive soil survey has confirmed local vignerons’ knowledge of the diverse terroirs found in Beaujolais, giving fuel for cru applications to INAO as well as to UNESCO.

Growers have long recognised the pockets of prime land that produce exceptional quality Gamay, declaring these as lieux-dits on their labels in order to communicate the characteristic wines they produce. Some of these lieux-dits are widely known and sought out, such as Côte du Py in Morgon, La Madone in Fleurie, and Champ de Cour in Moulin-à-Vent. Many more were identified over 100 years ago, even before the creation of the 10 Beaujolais crus themselves.

Scroll down for 10 expressive Beaujolais wines to seek out

10 expressive Beaujolais wines to try:

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