Beaujolais is currently enjoying a revival, thanks to improved quality and a run of great vintages. The June issue of Decanter profiles the young winemakers who are injecting new energy into the region. Vintage ’59’s Domaine Chasselay is one of the domains featured (Claire, Fabien and their father pictured above). Click on the title above to read more.
The rise in quality, authenticity and standing of Beaujolais these days begs the question: who is driving the revival? Beaujolais has never fostered a star-orientated culture but in the grey days of the 1980s and 1990s, when nouveau compromised the region’s reputation, names such Marcel Lapierre, Guy Breton, Jean Foillard and Jean-Paul Thévenet stood out as a beacon for characterful, complex Beaujolais.
One or two of this generation (Foillard, Yvon Métras) are still flying the flag, but in the new millennium the spirit of true Beaujolais has undeniably become more youthful. Mainly in their 30s, the young people leading the fray are often more travelled, open and worldly but they have adhered to the guiding principle of their elders and mentors, which is to maintain a respect for the land and terroir.