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Beaujolais crus to identify all climats by 2016

The 10 crus of Beaujolais have instructed a series of working groups to identify and list individual climats by June next year, as they seek to emulate Burgundy by linking vineyards more closely to terroir.

The programme follows a four year study into the terroir across the Beaujolais crus of Brouilly, Côte de Brouilly, Regnié, Morgon, Chiroubles, Fleurie, Moulin à Vent, Chénas, Juliénas and Saint Amour that was published through a series of maps in 2014.

The maps identified that the soils types of the Beaujolais crus are far more complex than previously thought.

This lends weight to the idea of profiling and recording individual plots of vines, or climats, in a similar way to the Côte d’Or or Côte Chalonnaise in Burgundy.

Audrey Charton, president of the ODG des Crus du Beaujolais, said that this will be the first step towards asking for recognition of Premier Cru sites in the region, and that the climat list will be submitted for official recognition by French authorities in June 2016.

‘Each appellation has its own terroir and typicity, and our job now is to record their complexity. We also have to work on establishing stricter viticultural and vinification guidelines within each appellation to ensure promotion of the terroir.’

Although the process is at an early stage, it is expected that in an appellation such as Moulin à Vent will contain around 60 climats, although only a small number of those would be eligible eventually for Premier Cru status.

‘One of our key tasks is not only mapping the soils across the crus, but convincing the winemakers of the treasures they have beneath their feet,’ Charton said. ‘Some don’t even realise how good their terroir can be.’

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