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Beaujolais Nouveau



When one mentions that terroir determines the wine’s flavor and style, this term has a multi-dimension definition. It consists of the climate, soil, landscape and a composition of factors such as hours of sunlight, slope, drainage, rainfall distribution etc.

A winegrower is one who cultivates grapes and makes wine from them. He/She understands that wine is made in the vineyard, is familiar with the latest viticultural practices, employs sustainable procedures to optimize the grape-growing environment for good quality grapes. The flavor, color and palate of the finished wine is largely dependant on the grapes and the environment that they are cultivated in.

To understand the intricacy of wine growing, we can start the journey by studying one of the world’s finest winegrowing region – Burgundy, located in eastern France, southeast of Paris. It is believed that Burgundy is the source to the world’s most exhilarating wines whose potential has yet to be realized by the consumers.

Burgundy is known to be a difficult region for consumers worldwide. It has a myriad of appellations which are complicated and infuriating even to wine students and wine enthusiasts. Fortunately, much improvement has occurred with many co-operatives, negociants and domains now producing larger quantities of fine quality wines available for global distribution.

There are many villages and vineyards in Burgundy contributing to the different style of wine, each unique of its terroir. The region has a northern continental climate which means severe winters and hot summers. Chablis, its most famous region for Chardonnay white wines, has to endure natural climatic hazards such as spring frosts and summer rains. The latter are conducive for grey rots on the grapes. Fortunately, most of the vineyards are located on the eastern fringe of the Massif Central which acts as a protective barrier to such hazards.

Due to the varying soil type in this region, grape varieties are planted according to the composition of the soil and the microclimate of each vineyard. For instance, in Cote d’Or where limestone soils predominate, it is common to see Chardonnay planted. When the soil is loamy clay, pinot noir is planted. The direction of slopes, drainage and mineral of the soils vary even within a vineyard. All these will affect and even determine the type of grape varieties to be planted. An extreme example could be seen at the Beaune Premier Cru vineyard of Clos des Mouches. This vineyard consists of parcels of land with vastly different soil type. Consequently, the land with limestone soil has Chardonnay planted while the rest are filled with Pinot Noir.


Date added : Wednesday, January 31, 2007 

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