If you’re planning to set off on the Beaujolais wine route while visiting France, you’re in luck. Winalist has prepared an exclusive list of the best Beaujolais wine destinations in this region of France. Beaujolais is one of the country’s highest-acclaimed and most diverse winegrowing regions.
By setting off on the Beaujolais Wine Route, you will discover 10 crus which include: Brouilly, Chénas, Chiroubles, Côtes de Brouilly, Fleurie, Juliénas, Morgon, Moulin à vent, Régnié and Saint-Amour. But also two regional appellations, Beaujolais-villages and Beaujolais. Discover more about Beaujolais wineries – and all of the magic that awaits you in this area – below.
What is Beaujolais wine?
Red wine makes up most of what is produced in the Beaujolais wine region. Most beaujolais wine is made using the Gamay grape, which has notoriously thin skin. Some white wine is also produced in this region of France, normally with Chardonnay grapes, though this is less than 1% of what Beaujolais winemakers produce. In general, the red wine produced in Beaujolais tends to be light-bodied and acidic. Overall, you could ask yourself : what do you know about Beaujolais wines ?
Cru beaujolais map: the Beaujolais wine route
We are happy to offer you a custom-tailored route in the heart of the vineyards of the Crus:
- Côtes de Brouilly
- Moulin à Vent
The vineyards of Brouilly
The Brouilly vineyard represents a vast area around the municipalities of Quincié, Cercié, Saint-Lager, Odenas, Charentay and Saint-Étienne-la-Varenne. Brouilly, like the nine other Beaujolais crus, offers a beautiful and unique expression of the Gamay grape variety. Its particular terroir gives the wine a deep and complex profile. The production of the Brouilly vineyard is mainly composed of red wines and a few white and rosé wines.
If you would like to take a gourmet break in Cercié, La Maison Jambon offers you a tour of their estate, accompanied by a tasting of wines and Beaujolais mâchon (cold meats and cheeses from Haut Beaujolais).
The vineyards of Chénas
Chénas is an AOC appellation which extends over the territories of the communes of Chénas and Chapelle-de-Guinchay. The grape variety used for the production of Chénas, as in the rest of Beaujolais, is Gamay Noir à jus blanc. The latter gives a wine with a purplish red color characteristic of wines from this region.
The vineyards of Chiroubles
In Chiroubles, the Maison du Cru presents around thirty producers of this appellation. You can do many tastings and meet passionate winegrowers. The local shop offers wines and other local products. From this House starts the panoramic path of the 10 crus. It is a one-hour walk punctuated by viewpoints, landscapes, but also information on the Beaujolais wines.
The vineyards of Côtes de Brouilly
The Côtes de Brouilly vineyards extend over four municipalities: Cercié, Odenas, Quincié-en-Beaujolais and Saint-Lager and more precisely on the slopes of Mont Brouilly.
Climb to the top of Mont Brouilly to admire the breathtaking panorama of the hillsides and the Saône valley. You will find a geoscope there which will allow you to understand the origins of the formation of the landscapes as well as the diversity of Beaujolais soils.
The Côte-de-Brouilly has, like the other ten Beaujolais crus, a beautiful and particular expression of the Gamay grape variety. Its terroir gives the wine a deep and complex profile.
The vineyards of Fleurie
Beaujolais Fleurie is known to be “the most feminine of wines” from its region. This famous wine appellation mainly covers the commune of Fleurie, whose panorama of hillsides covered with vines makes it possible to observe the Saône valley as far as the outskirts of Mont-Blanc on a clear day.
The appellation benefits from an AOC label as well as a European AOP label and produces mainly red and rosé wines (Gmay Noir grape variety) but also white wines (Chardonnay grape varieties).
Visit the Château des Bachelards in Fleurie and learn the main principles of biodynamics in the form of a mini-conference.
The vineyards of Julinéas
Juliénas is exclusively a red wine which can be produced in 3 towns, Juliénas, Jullié and Emeringes. We invite you to visit the immense and magnificent cellars of the Château de Juliénas. Renowned for its AOC wine (8 cuvées from Beaujolais-Villages, Juliénas, Fleurie and Moulin-à-Vent), you can discover it in tasting during the Gold visit or the Silver visit.
The vineyards of Morgon
The Morgon appellation is located in the commune of Villié-Morgon located in the Beaujolais vineyard. Morgon produces a dry red wine falling into the category of still wines.
Discover and savor amazing and unforgettable wine and cheese pairings at Domaine Gérard Brisson. The entire vineyard is certified Terra Vitis and HVE (high environmental value) for sustainable and environmentally friendly viticulture.
The Moulin à Vent vineyards
The Moulin-à-Vent appellation is a famous wine appellation in the Beaujolais region, it mainly produces red and rosé wines (Gamay Noir grape variety) but also white wines (Chardonnay grape variety). It extends over the municipalities of Chénas and Romanèche-Thorins.
Stop by Romanèche-Thorins to visit the Windmill which gave its name to one of the most famous Beaujolais crus and embark on a fun and cultural journey to the Hameau Duboeuf. This place is considered the largest wine park in Europe, perfect for discovering the world of vines and wine with children. We learn about the know-how of the winegrowers through exhibitions and audiovisual shows and in addition we end the visit with a tasting of 4 wines from different appellations such as Brouilly or Moulin à Vent, accompanied by a plate of charcuterie.
The vineyards of Régnié
Régnié is a famous wine appellation of the Beaujolais region, which extends over the communes of Régnié-Durette and Lantignié. The Régnié, is, like the ten other Beaujolais crus, a beautiful and unique expression of the Gamay grape variety. The Régnié offers us a brilliant color that varies from cherry to ruby.
The vineyards of Saint-Amour
Saint-Amour is the northernmost of the Beaujolais crus. Its vineyard is located almost exclusively in Saône et Loire.
The Beaujolais Wine Route will also take you through the Beaujolais Villages area and its picturesque villages and steep vineyards.
The vineyards of the Beaujolais Villages area
Head to Blacé for a gourmet walk in the romantic gardens of Château de Champ-Renard, all accompanied by a picnic.
Take the opportunity to visit the atypical village of Vaux-en-Beaujolais. This place inspired the writer Gabriel Chevallier for his satirical novel “Clochemerle”. Embark yourself in the story by following the different characters who will accompany you during your visit. And for the bravest, if you go to the top, you can enjoy a superb panorama over the vineyards of the Beaujolais-Villages appellation. And you can’t do the Beaujolais wine route without discovering the Château de Montmelas, its vineyard and its Beaujolais Villages wines!
The Beaujolais Wine Route also takes you to Beaujeu, it is the historic capital of Beaujolais country. Its historic center is well worth a visit with the church of St Nicolas, the half-timbered houses, the Hospices de Beaujeu, the museum of arts and traditions.
Finally, in the south of Beaujolais, don’t forget to go to “the little French Tuscany“, to stroll through the streets of the typical villages of the Pierres Dorées which are labeled Vignobles & Découvertes. Then, enthroned on a hill, surrounded by vineyards in a magnificent hilly landscape, Oingt is proud to have been classified among the most beautiful villages in France! This old village is very beautiful because it is built with the famous golden stones which give it a crazy charm.
And end your Beaujolais Wine Route at the Carrières de Glay. It is a UNESCO Global Geopark, which is located 30 minutes from Lyon. At the heart of this geological site, you can observe rocks with golden colors. You can go there all year round for a free visit.
Beaujolais wines will surprise you during tastings, whether in private cellars, family estates or renowned castles. With wine as the real thread of your stay, you will discover the wonders of Beaujolais gastronomy as well as the beauty of this French region.
Besides, if you like castles, you will be served! To the north of Beaujolais, you will find the Château de La Chaize in Odenas, the Château de Corcelles and the Château de Juliénas, endowed with splendid vaulted cellars.
Enjoy your wine trip on the Beaujolais Wine Route!
What to see in Beaujolais?
While in Beaujolais, you should take its acclaimed wine route to visit the most important sites of this region. The Beaujolais Wine Route is 140 kilometers of adventure, from the North of Lyon to the South of Mâcon and don’t forget to stop for a Burgundy wine tour while (if) driving back to Paris!
On the road there are 12 appellations to discover and hundreds of villages to explore.
What are the best wineries to visit in Beaujolais?
There are so many castles and wine estates in Beaujolais; it’s impossible to explore them all in only a few days. However, if you’re on a tight timeframe, here are our top 4 castle and wine estate stops:
– The Castle of Montmelas.
– The Château de la Terrière.
– The castle of Pizay.
– The Castle of Julienas.