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

Bordeaux Wine Firm Found Guilty of Fraud

A leading Bordeaux négociant firm has been found guilty of fraud for passing off table wine as more lucrative appellation wine, and for illegally mixing appellations, vintages and châteaus to the extent that the labels no longer represented what was in the bottle. Bordeaux’s Criminal Tribunal handed down the guilty verdict April 5 against Grands Vins de Gironde (GVG), fining the company nearly $500,000 (with half the fine suspended).”It is a substantial offense,” said Judge Caroline Baret, telling the courtroom that the victims were both supermarket shoppers, who were being unfairly duped, and the image of French wine, which risked being tarnished in foreign markets.Eric Marin, GVG’s former director of purchasing and cellar manager, was also found guilty and given an $18,000 suspended fine. Charges related to a period when he was no longer in his post were dropped [ . . . ]

More at: Bordeaux Wine Firm Found Guilty of Fraud | News | News & Features | Wine Spectator

Why Bordeaux Is The New Tuscany For Every Maltese Person Who Loves Wine 

If you’re one of the many Maltese people who visits Italy almost every year, you’d be happy to know there’s now a new destination to add to your list: Bordeaux. And because it’s not in Italy, it could give you a much-needed break from Tuscany, Sicily, or wherever else you usually venture to for good food and wine in the countryside [ . .  .]

More at: Why Bordeaux Is The New Tuscany For Every Maltese Person Who Loves Wine – Lovin Malta

Legendary Bordeaux Chateaux Are Now Open for Meals and Sleepovers

These days it’s the insider’s way to best understand the region’s famous wines.

The wine region of Bordeaux, long willfully fusty, is in the midst of a modern tourist boom. Last year saw the opening of the swirling aluminum-and-glass La Cité du Vin, a spectacular high-tech museum devoted to wine and culture. And this July brought a two-hour high-speed train link from Paris.

Now you’ll want to venture beyond town for the real fun: The appellation’s celebrated wine châteaux, whose doors were long shut to tourists, have unveiled dazzling wineries designed by big-name architects. And more than a dozen of them, including billionaire-owned Château Cos d’Estournel, have begun welcoming wine lovers for lunch, dinner, and even overnight stays in opulent rooms overlooking the vines.

In the city of Bordeaux proper, beautiful 18th century buildings have shed their soot to stand gleaming once again as part of a renewal project that helped the municipality gain Unesco World Heritage status in 2007. Jazzy wine bars and inventive chefs have swept in since, upending decades of heavy cuisine doused in buttery sauces. [ . . . ]

More: Legendary Bordeaux Chateaux Are Now Open for Meals and Sleepovers – Bloomberg