If You’ve Never Explored French Wine Country, Begin With Beaujolais

Each year, more than 10 million visitors journey to France’s storied wine country. Among the most traveled to regions are the big names: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Alsace. Conspicuously absent from the top of that list is Beaujolais — an area that might just be more scenically enchanting than all the rest. But just because the masses are missing out doesn’t mean you need to make the same mistake. Here’s why this part of southwestern France is worth exploring today, before it’s ‘discovered’ by everyone else.Accessibility is a word that comes up time and again in describing Beaujolais. Its location is easily reached by car or rail from Lyon, France’s 3rd largest city. Its people are universally welcoming and almost unnervingly hospitable. But most inviting of all is the wine — a light-yet-luscious red fermented exclusively from the gamay grape varietal. Its appeal spans the spectrum of drinkers; from those seeking something delicate, to those in search of boldness; the self-avowed novice to the full-fledged enthusiast.

In the US, our experience with Beaujolais is primarily viewed through the lens of Georges Duboeuf. The 85 year old wine merchant has been exporting juice from the region since 1964. Négociants, as they are known in France, don’t actually make the wine, but partner with the producers to get the liquid bottled, labeled, and brought to market. A testimony to Duboeuf’s profound impact on the region — his lasting partnership with the local farmers — appears in the form of Hameau Dubouef. Built adjacent to the rail station in his hometown of Romaneche-Thorins, this is the only museum in all of France dedicated entirely to winemaking. It’s open daily from 8AM – 7PM and provides the ideal springboard from which to dive headfirst into the heart of Beaujolais. [ . . . ]

Continue at FORBES: If You’ve Never Explored French Wine Country, Begin With Beaujolais

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