Beaujolais, Barossa Valley

Located just south of Burgundy, the French wine region of Beaujolais covers an impressive area of 22,000 hectares between Mâcon and Lyon. Although this wine region was famous for being associated with dull, diluted wine in the past, its reputation has since only improved, proving their worth to wine lovers all over the world with their endless variety of wines, ranging from fresh and light to refined and lush wines. 98 percent of the vineyards here are made up of the famous Gamay grapes, with the exception of a small amount of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir which are used to make white wines. Gamay grapes are known to make luscious red wines that have a light to medium body, moderate tannin, relatively low acidity and contain aromas of berries such as raspberry, tart cherry and cranberry. The region of Beaujolais is home to ten named village Crus: St Amour, Juliénas, Moulin-à-Vent, Chénas, Fleurie, Chiroubles, Morgon, Régnié (a Cru since 1988), Brouilly and Côte de Brouilly. When compared to most other Beaujolais wines, the Crus of this region are more concentrated and have much more character and can be kept for up to ten years.

Beaujolais is blessed with a temperate climate and shares its summer weather with the Mediterranean Sea due to its close proximity, but the location is also interior enough to experience cold dry weather from the Northeast. The soil of Beaujolais is an important component in defining the different styles of wines in the region. Towards the south of the town of Villefrance, the soil is made up of sandstone or clay and limestone. In the north, the soils are comprised of granite or crystalline rock on the upper slopes, and in the lower slopes they are made up of stone and clay soils.
The Barossa Valley is about an hour and a half drive to the North of Adelaide, in South Australia and is the oldest wine region in the country, founded by German settlers. The region can be credited with putting Australian wine on the world wine map, thanks to Shiraz, which thrives in the warm climate (though Hunter Valley Semillon also contributed.)

For many years traditionalist wine makers thought the grape variety was best suited to the cooler climates of the Rhône Valley and that the variety would cook and in the warmth of the Australian sun. Although South Australian Shiraz is a bigger, beefier wine than its southern French counterpart Syrah, no one can deny the regions propensity to produce world class wines.

Not only Shiraz is cultivated in Barossa Valley, with other red varieties such as Grenache, Mourvedre (Mataro) and to a lesser extent Sauvignon. The white varieties that thrive best seem to be Semillon, Chardonnay and Rhone varietals like Viognier, Marsanne and Roussane.

The Valley has many subregions which all have unique terroirs. Seppeltsfield, Marananga, Greenock are to name but a few. With a huge number of wineries in such a small area, and a host of accommodation, the region is very popular for wine-tourism. In the words of Master of Wine Jancis Robinson, the Barossa Valley became "Australia's quintessential wine region."
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