By dint of evoking each autumn the Beaujolais Nouveau, one would almost forget the region which produces it. And what a region!
From the north of Lyon to the south of Macon, here is an exquisite territory of hills covered with vines, green valleys, golden villages… A land of plenty, bordered to the west by coniferous forests suitable for hiking. Carpet in the hollow of vines, bell towers and conquering tiles, the villages of Beaujolais are the embodiment of the French country lifestyle. Examples ? Charnay and its golden houses, crowded around the castle; Oingt the medieval; Theizé and its natural terraces; Chiroubles and its bulbous bell tower… A raw charm.
And twelve! This is the number of wine appellations in Beaujolais. Among them, Juliénas, Morgon, Brouilly, Chiroubles, Régnié, Windmill are the best known. Regarding Saint-Amour, people come from afar in this village of Saône-et-Loire to celebrate their wine for lovers. Let us add to these names those of Beaujolais and Beaujolais-Village, from which Beaujolais Nouveau is produced, to be consumed in moderation. But this territory is not limited to the vineyard and its famous gamay grape, nor to its only villages. To the west, the region plays the daughters of the air and reveals unsuspected wooded heights. Approaching 1000 m in altitude, they are ideal for hiking and cycling, on the side of Monsols, Lamure-sur-Azergues or Amplepuis.
Villefranche-sur-Saône, capital city
For those who are looking for a little urban animation, direction Villefranche-sur-Saone. Principal city of Beaujolais, posed at the eastern fringe of the region, its charm is concentrated around Notre-Dame-des-Marais church, whose splendid sculpted facade overlooks the National Street. Sloping gently, this street is lined with Gothic and Renaissance houses, witnesses of an ancient merchant opulence. And since Beaujolais Nouveau still remains the region’s trademark, let’s talk a bit about the festivities. They always stand on 3rd Saturday in November. Year after year, Beaujeu, Tarare, Belleville, Villefranche-sur-Saône… will be there for the next vintage.
Well placed between the vineyards of the Morgon cru, with a splendid park adjoining the property. 45 comfortable rooms. From 81 €. • The Berger Farm, Les Ardillats – lafermeberger.pagesperso-orange.fr
Five nicely renovated rooms in a beautiful farmhouse, near Beaujeu. From 71 €.
Visit Le Hameau Duboeuf, in Romanèche-Thorins – hameauduvin.com
The largest wine theme park in Europe.