Beaujolais, France – October 18th, 2016 – The 2016 vintage has not been an easy one, in Beaujolais as elsewhere in France. The fickle weather in spring created difficult conditions for the winegrowers, demanding permanent vigilance and reinforced presence in the vines. Some producers even saw part of their harvest wiped by the hailstorms that swept Beaujolais in the second quarter.
However, the (relatively) late start of the growing cycle combined with the chaotic meteorological conditions had no impact on the quality potential of the 2016 vintage, which is already looking very promising.
This year’s splendid summer brought with it ideal conditions for ripening, and, in the weeks leading up to the harvest, the vineyards benefited from hot, dry weather that allowed the vines, and those watching over them, to regain a certain serenity.
A slow and late ripening period of cooler nights and hot, sunny days meant that the bunches could attain optimum maturity, whilst maintaining an agreeable freshness, which augurs a very fine vintage indeed.
With radiantly sunny skies during the grape harvest, it was as if Mother Nature wanted to seek forgiveness by offering the vines a wonderful Indian summer… and judging by the quality of the grapes that were brought in, it looks as though she certainly gave it her all.
The first tastings reveal a beautifully seductive vintage, with fine, supple tannins and superb fruit. “The 2016 vintage has a focus on elegance rather than power, and maintains perfect balance between acidity, fruit and structure… a combination of freshness and gourmandise”, notes
Bertrand Chatelet, Director of the Sicarex (Institute for viticultural and oenological research in Beaujolais located at Villefranche-sur-Saône).
Volume-wise, apart from zones touched in the spring by hail (around 2,200 hectares affected 50% or above), the harvest will be above the average of these last 5 years (around + 40%) meaning that Beaujolais will once again enjoy a “classic” harvest of around 750 to 800,000 hectolitres. In 2016, Beaujolais is a notable exception amongst the French wine regions, which have globally announced a drop in volumes of over 10%.
About Wines of Beaujolais:
Bordered by the Bourgogne region to the North and the city of Lyon to the South, the rolling hills and plains of Beaujolais form a wine-growing area of 67 square miles. While Beaujolais does produce a small amount of whites and rosés, the region is best known for its versatile, medium to full-bodied reds – all single-varietal and mostly made of Gamay Noir à Jus Blanc – which account for 98% of all wines produced in the region. Beaujolais is made up of 12 appellations: Beaujolais (red, white and rosé), Beaujolais Villages (red, white and rosé), and 10 Beaujolais Crus (reds only: Brouilly, Côte de Brouilly, Régnié, Morgon, Chiroubles, Fleurie, Moulin-à-Vent, Chénas, Juliénas and finally Saint-Amour). Bringing together a small community of 2,600 winegrowers, the region has an average annual production of 22,454,623 gallons (120 million bottles) – including 7,925,161 gallons (40 million bottles) of Beaujolais Crus, 7,925,161 gallons (40 million bottles) of Beaujolais and 6,604,301 gallons (33 million bottles) of Beaujolais-Villages – of which 40% is sold to export to over 110 countries.
For more information about Beaujolais and its wines, please visit: http://www.discoverbeaujolais.com/.