‘Meet the Makers’ of Beaujolais
The crème de la crème of Beaujolais
By Mallory Ambrose | June 15, 2023
This summer, a selection of Beaujolais producers and sommeliers are traveling within the U.S. on a four-city ‘Meet the Makers’ trade seminar tour hosted by Inter Beaujolais in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, and Los Angeles where industry professionals have an opportunity to delve into the captivating world of Beaujolais wines.
Sommeliers taking part include Sarah Pierre, the owner of 3 Parks Wine Shop in Atlanta, Georgia; Fernando Beteta MS, the founder of PopSomm; Erik Segelbaum, Advanced Sommelier, and the founder of Somlyay and GoodSomm; and Josh Orr, MS, the Southern California sales manager of Broadbent Selections. The producers showcasing their wine are Domaine de Boischampt, Zest Of, Château de Lavernette, and Château de l’Éclair.
Cody Henson, Account Support Manager with PayBev, and I recently attended the ‘Meet the Makers’ event in Atlanta held at the lovely Le Bon Nosh. The event kicked-off with a sommelier-led panel discussion moderated by 3 Parks Wine Shop owner, Sarah Pierre. Following the soil presentation and interactive discussion of the future of Beaujolais and the pioneering of its premiumization, we enjoyed a curated walk-around tasting of 4 producers with over 20+ Beaujolais wines (including Beaujolais Blanc aka Chardonnay). The atmosphere was buzzing with enthusiasm as we engaged in lively discussions, exchanged insights, and forged meaningful connections with the vibrant wine scene of Atlanta.
“I enjoyed learning about the terroir and the many intricacies of the Crus of Beaujolais, directly from the people who live there and have produced Gamay for generations. Personally, I love Gamay and it was wonderful to be in a room full of people that recognize that Beaujolais is not limited to Nouveau and Thanksgiving dinner.” – Cody Henson, Account Support Manager with PayBev.
The ’Meet the Makers’ event fosters an environment where professionals can learn more about winemaking techniques, pioneering sustainable practices, soil specificities, and understand the “spirit of sharing,” which has been identified as a core value of Beaujolais.
Beaujolais has become one of the most beloved regions in the world amongst sommeliers, retailers, and wine professionals. The region is known for versatile, expressive wines that are built for food.
Divided into two sections by the Nizerand River, the hilly Beaujolais vineyards stretch out from north to south over 55 kilometers, bordered to the west by the foothills of the Massif Central, and to the east by the Saone river plain. The region’s flavor lies in the soil with vines flourishing in a variety of terroirs.
The 12 AOCs of Beaujolais accounts for 14,500 hectares of planted gamay (98%) and chardonnay (2%) vines. The South, where regional AOCs are generally located, boasts rolling hills with soil characterized as clayey, sometimes chalky, while in the North, the communal AOCs (Beaujolais crus), the soil holds a half granitic origin, often sandy.
Each Beaujolais cru has its own distinct personality – climate, soils, altitude, aspect, and a host of other factors – that are duplicated nowhere else, demonstrating the wealth of the Beaujolais terroirs.
Beaujolais has already won over the hearts of many within U.S. wine industry with its high quality, history, and value, but rarely is there a stateside opportunity to put faces to these delicious wines in person. With the ‘Meet the Makers’ tour, now is your chance to experience the flavor of Beaujolais wines with the winemakers themselves.