No.69 Fleurie, Beaujolais

When people hear the word ‘Beaujolais’, the style of wine that springs to mind is generally one that is lithe and light, a quaffer or ‘vin de soif’ as the French would say. Even when the famous villages are highlighted on the label, there remains the expectation that what you will taste might well be delicious, but it could also be rather simple. Well, we wanted something more than this. Of course, ‘deliciousness’ was not something that we were prepared to sacrifice but we also wanted some scale and depth to our Fleurie to show the complexity possible from this famous ‘cru’.

 

By using fruit from the high slopes above the hamlet of Poncié, we have ensured that the fruit style is one rich in red fruit (due to perfect exposure to sunlight) but also framed by finesse (a result of the cool nights achieved at this altitude that allows the grapes to retain their perfume). A period of ageing in some of the very best barrels and wooden vats was not done to add any obvious flavour or aroma but to add silkiness of texture. This instantly creates the impression that you are in the presence of a Fleurie of the very finest kind, and therefore a rather regal representative of Département 69.

Wine Tasting

With Masters of Wine Liam Steevenson and Mark Pygott

Beaujolais

Arguably one of France’s most beautiful wine regions, the rolling hills of Beaujolais are home to vineyards as far as the eye can see as well as meandering medieval villages. The Gamay vines are goblet-trained creating a truly unique landscape, with castles, churches and windmills dotting the skyline. Famous for Beaujolais Nouveau, there is so much more to discover, with each Cru offering its own unique style. With Lyon as its capital, Beaujolais is a foodie region, with incredible markets, hidden restaurants, wine tastings and vineyard tours to keep you entertained.

Where to Stay

Domaine du Clos des
Garands, Fleurie

A beautiful B&B in a manor house located just outside of Fleurie. The four spacious rooms are decorated with French chic and have endless views of the vineyards. Head into Fleurie to grab a coffee on the square in the morning before filling the day with vineyard tours.

Domaine de La Chapelle de Vâtre, Vâtre

A vineyard with accommodation in the heart of Beaujolais. Vâtre is a small hamlet built around a 17th century Romanesque chapel, with the property sitting on a hill offering spectacular views over the region and as far as Mont Blanc on a clear day. There are three rooms and a self-catering apartment.

Auberge du Paradis,
Saint-Amour-Bellevue

Not only does this auberge boast a one-star Michelin restaurant but also a gorgeous garden complete with a swimming pool and contemporary and stylish rooms. The rooms have private balconies and views over the Mâconnais, each with their own ambience. There is also a gîte with a private terrace and fully-equipped kitchen.

Château de Bagnols, Bagnols

A five-star, moated Relais & Château hotel in the heart of Pierres Dorées country. With a selection of suites to choose from (château, cellar and garden), an award winning spa on site and a Michelin star restaurant in a beautiful vaulted dining room, this is a truly luxurious place to stay.

Where to Eat

Auberge du Paradis, Saint-Amour-Bellevue

Inventive, no-choice tasting menu from Cyril and Valérie Lignier at their one-star Michelin auberge in St-Amour. Josephine à la Table is their less formal bistro next door, serving up freshly-prepared bistro fare with fresh ingredients from the market.

XVIII Sur Vins, Belleville

Located in Belleville, near the southern end of the Beaujolais Crus, the menu here changes daily. Run by the energetic Lourdès Métras, this simple wine bar has become a favourite amongst winemakers and has a list to prove it.

Auberge Col du Truges, Villié-Morgon

A popular favourite among locals, who are lured by dishes such as Jean-Jacque’s pike quenelle bubbling in lobster sauce as well as the huge selection of back-vintage Beaujolais.

 

Auberge de Corcelles, Corcelles-en-Beaujolais

A village inn which is packed with locals every day, drawn by the Japanese chef’s great value three-course lunch menu. Fresh, local specialities with a twist, served alongside the finest of Beaujolais Crus.

Where to Drink

L’Atelier du Cuisinier, Villié-Morgon

This rustic bistro in Villié-Morgon is almost impossible to leave once you get installed, thanks to the chalk-written list of Beaujolais that covers one entire wall, with every Cru well represented.

Café du Sports, Fleurie

Don’t be misled by the name – whilst there is often sport on in the background, the wine list here is a shrine to Beaujolais itself, with affordable bottles from both well-known and minuscule producers. This casual bar is a haunt for winemakers, with simple dinner options available to help soak up some of the contents of the unrivalled wine list.

Cellier de la Vieille Eglise, Juliénas

In the quaint village of Juliénas is the Cellier de la Vieille Eglise tasting room which was converted from an abandoned 19th century stone church in the 1950s. Run by local winemakers who collaborate on a wine annually, enjoy a tasting whilst admiring the bacchanalian fresco on one of the walls.

 

Fête des Crus

It really does not get much better than a wine street party and the French know how to do these like nowhere else. The Fête des Crus is held in spring and rotates between the villages of the 10 Crus.

Things to Do

La Chapelle de la Madone, Fleurie

There is nowhere better to get iconic panoramic views of the vineyards than from La Chapelle de la Madone in the hills above Fleurie. You can see all of the surrounding region and right over to the Alps on clear days. Don’t forget your camera! 

 

La Voie Verte

The greenway is a bicycle path offering 15km of perfectly flat and secure road along a disused and renovated railway line. A stunning route running through the foot of the vineyards there could not be a more perfect way to burn off lunch.

Market in Villefranche-sur-Saône

Head to the covered market in Villefranche for a truly authentic French food shopping experience. Beaujolais is an agricultural region, so the market is filled with fresh produce from cheese to artisanal products like oils and jams.

Huilerie Beaujolaise, Beaujeu

For something a little different, make an appointment to visit the mill at the Huilerie Beaujolaise, an artisan producer of incredible oils and vinegars. Located in Beaujeu, the historic medieval capital of the region, with a shop on site, this is absolutely worth a visit for any foodies.

Cadoles et Sens

Cadoles et Sens is an association to preserve the 18th century cone-shaped, dry-stone vineyard huts, known locally as cadoles. They organise themed and guided walks, with a picnic basket and wine tasting thrown in.

To place an order or for any questions.

If you have any questions or would like to place an order, please email us at info@departementwine.com or call us on +44 (0)117 915 4555.

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Departement is made by the Vineyard Productions team.

A creative agency producing artisanal wines, focusing on the ancient & the indigenous.
Working in cellars around the world, our team of Masters of Wine and winemakers invest and collaborate with vineyard owners and winemaking teams to create artisanal wines that reflect place.

Place…Everything begins with ‘place’, a site that is unique and has a character of its own, with a story to tell. We are very human in our choices. We fall for beauty. Sun falling on the hills, gnarled ancient vines, old stone village walls, the faces of the people drinking coffee in the morning…we breathe in and inhale; the old vines burning in the fields, the Gitanes ‘sans filtres’ smoked with morning cognac, the fresh baked bread, the broken fruit, the grape juice fermenting in the cellars.

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