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Decanter travel guide: Beaujolais, France

Verdant hills, elegant châteaux and ever more serious wines make this stunning region well worth a detour from neighbouring Burgundy, says Sue Style. Read the full guide to Beaujolais, including the best wineries to visit, plus top places to stay, eat, shop and relax. As published in the Decanter July 2011 issue.

Beaujolais: Six estates to visit

Domaine des Terres Dorées, Charnay
Jean-Paul Brun is known for his highly prized, exciting, unusual, long-lived Beaujolais-Villages and crus. Visits by appointment only to his elusive domaine in the Pierres Dorées. Tel: +33 (0)4 78 47 93 45

Château de Cercy, Denicé
Michel and Cyril Picard conjure up some fine Beaujolais (including a rare Chardonnay-based Blanc) from the limestone-clay soils of this less-favoured southern end of the region. chateau-cercy.com

Château du Basty, Lantignié
Taste Pernette and Gilles Perroud’s Beaujolais Lantignié (one of the most ageworthy of the Villages appellations) and perfumed, lively Régnié at their château high above the vineyards. chateaudubasty.com

Château Thivin, Odenas
This 25ha (hectare) estate in Brouilly was one of the first to experiment with alternative ways of training Gamay (the usual is gobelet), with consistently impressive results. Visits welcome. chateau-thivin.com

Château de la Grange
Cochard, Villié Morgon James and Sarah Wilding have attracted attention (and awards) with their meaty Morgon grown on some of the best granitic soils of Les Charmes and Côte du Py. Tasting by appointment. lagrangecochard.com

Domaine Chignard, Fleurie
Classic Beaujolais domaine making serious Fleurie, one from Les Moriers, the other a special cuvée from low-yielding, densely planted vines more than 30 years old, aged in small oak barrels. Tel: +33 (0)4 74 04 11 87

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