Wine Searcher

Carbonic maceration

The general wine-making method in Beaujolais is carbonic maceration. The Gamay grapes are tipped into lare vats of timber, concrete or stain less steel as soon as possible after they are picked.

  The entire bunch including stems is left intact. The weight of the grapes themselves gently presses the grapes at the bottom and the juice from these (10-30% of the total volume) begins to ferment slowly. The sugars in the juice are converted to alcohol and carbon dioxide th ro ugh fermentation. The pressure of carbon dioxide increases and forces the 'cap' or grapes upwards. The soaking in carbonic acid gas causes the alcohol to break down natural colourants and tannin and these are absorbed in the subsequent fermentation.

burgundy WINE *** french WINE

The pressure of carbonic acid gas is highest at the top of the vat and the pressure causes metabolism within the grapes. These start to ferment internally, with alcohol being produced and the level of malic acid significantly reduced. Just as important though and a characteristic of this method of wine-making is that the presence of oxygen ensures the retention of o utstanding fruitiness in the aroma and taste. After the carbonic acid has soaked the grapes in a process that takes four to ten days, depending on the type of wine to be produced, the naturally pressed juice or 'vin de goutte' is drawn off. The remaining grape matter is then pressed gently and added to the initial tapping. Some cuvées may make wine consisting solely of the initially tapped natural pressing and these wines can usually be spotted by their 'heavenly' names on the label of 'Paradis'as the French call this sweet, very fruity, and aromatic french wine.

burgundy WINE *** french WINE

 When this initial fermentation is completed a second fermentation occurs in which the harsh malic acids are converted to more gentle lactic acid. The young french wine is then ready to drink at once as Beaujolais Nouveau or undergoes further handling to become Beaujolais, Beaujola is Villages, or Crus du Beaujolais.


Although Beaujolais is officially within Burgundy, it is usually treated as an independent French wine area. We do this because Beaujolais wine has its own identity which is further strengthened by the considerable publicity that surrounds this individually-minded Burgundian brother.

 The most famous   Beaujolais is the new wine or Nouveau, which is introduced each year with much ado. There is much more though to discover in the Beaujolais, with at least twelve different appellations.

burgundy WINE *** french WINE

The area

Beaujolais starts about 6 miles (10 kilometres ) south of Macon, in the department of Rhône. It is a relatively small area about 37 miles by 71/z miles (60 km long by 12 km) wide that spreads itself across a ridge of hills that border the valley of the Saône. The area is subdivided into two sub-regions: in the north Haut-Beaujolais where the best wines are made, the 10 crus, and Beaujolais Villages. The   soil   is predominantly granite and quartz fragments on a bed of slate.

The southern part or Bas-Beaujolais has soil that is a mixture of clay and chalk. The everyday white, rose, and red Beaujolais are produced from these vineyards.

burgundy WINE *** french WINE

The vineyards

Only about 2% of the vineyards are planted with Chardonnay. The extremely rare white Beaujolais is made from these grapes. The remainder of the vineyards   are   planted with the Gamay grape. Some   rose   but   mainly reds are made from Gamay.

The preparation of Beaujolais

In recent decades the growers of Beaujolais have realised that improvement and above all greater environmental awareness in the protect­ ion   of their   vineyards, combined   with   better equipment and hygiene in the wine cellar improves the quality of the wine. Consequently far less sulphate fertiliser is now used and wine-makers control temperature far better duringvinification.

burgundy WINE *** french WINE

This protects the characteristics of   the   soil,   climate, and grape far better. Unfortunately there are still growers in Bea u jolais who want to make a profit as quickly and as cheaply as possible - a scandal  for those hard -working growers who seek to improve the quality of their wine.

  The Côtes Châlonnaise between Chagny, Montagny and Couches will probably surprise many a visitor.


This is a fairly recent appellation (1990) for white but especially red wines, spread through 44 communes.

The white French wine is a light, floral and fruity Chardonnay (citrus and exotic fruit) with a lithe, fatty, and balanced taste. The very fruity cherry red wine is light, friendly, warm, and generous.

burgundy WINE *** french WINE


These French white and red wines acquire an aromatic finesse through their chalk soils. The white Rully is a very pure and clear golden white with very seductive bouquet containing broom, almond, and citrus fruit with a fresh and elegant taste that has undertones of fruit and flowers.

The ruby red Rully has a nose when young of red fruit such as blackberry, blackcurrant, and red- currant. Late this evolves into a riper fruit bouquet with suggestions of tobacco and moist autumn soil. The taste is typical of a Burgundy, fat and fresh, with elegant tannin and much fruitiness, especially in the aftertaste.

burgundy WINE *** french WINE


Most white Mercurey wines are a light, friendly, and above all uncomplicated aperitif French wine. The red Mercurey is an attractive ruby red colour and fruity aromas of blackcurrant, redcurrant, and cherry, often with a pinch of herbs.



Like its neighbours from Montagny, wine from Givry is an entirely under regarded Chardonnay white. Consequently it is modestly priced for the quality offered.

There are a couple of whites from Givry that have gorgeous bouquets of acacia and may blossom, apple, almond, and sometimes also lime blossom and lilac. These full, fatty whites can be found in the totally reliable Guide Hachette. Drink this French wine with freshwater fish.

Red Givry is very colourful with   an   intensely aromatic nose   of redcurrant and   blackcurrant. When older there are herbal undertones. This is a fleshy wine with considerable finesse and a pleasant fruity taste.

burgundy WINE *** french WINE


The best Montagny wine has a pale and unimposing colour but with an exceptional array of scents: apple, citrus fruit, fresh almonds, fern, hazelnut, and butter.

The taste is lithe, elegant, fresh, and rounded.



This French wine is better than the general Aligote AC. It is an exceptionally pleasing fresh wine with a seductive nose of roses, peony, and white fruit, sometimes accompanied by cinnamon.


The Mâconnais, between Sennecey-le-grand and St­ Verand, is the home of the quick charmers.



 With a few exceptions, the ordinary white Macon is an uncomplicated and excellent French wine which can be drunk without a long wait. The red compatriots are of better quality and are made   from   Pinot   Noir and Gamay grapes. The greater the proportion of Gamay the more approachable, generous and often more fruity is the French wine. Some Macons with lots of Pinot Nair can be more powerful and high in tannin, with plenty of structure, particularly when aged in oak.

The better   white   wines from the Maconnais have their own appellation.

burgundy WINE *** french WINE


Chardonnay is always most at home on chalk and that is apparent in the wine. This French wine is a very clear and pale golden colour with a bouquet of fresh grapes and almonds, with a juicy and fresh taste of great elegance. When the wine is aged in oak casks it develops a characteristic nose of vanilla, toast, hazelnuts, and roasted almonds.



These French wines are less well-known and generally lighter than Pouillly-Fuissé. They are usually elegant, very aromatic wines with a bouquet of butter, lemon, flowers, and grapefruit.

burgundy WINE *** french WINE


This is an exceptional French wine from the borders with Beaujolais. (note the name of the wine is written without the final 'd' of the village of St­Verand).

Generic Burgundy

Before we continue   our   journey south let us consider a few of the generic wines of Burgundy.


White Bourgogn e AC (Chardonnay) is an aromatic, fresh white wine. Drink it at about 51.8°F (11°C)and preferably within two years of the harvest.

Red BourgogneAC (Pinot Noir) is ruby red and has a nose of red fruit and wood land fruit (raspberry, blackcuriant, blackberry, and redcurrant). It is a lithe, generous, and friendly wine. Drink at about 60.8°F /16°C within five years of the harvest.

burgundy WINE *** french WINE


The red French wine is made with a minimum of one third Pinot Noir to which Gamay grapes are added. The better wines though contain more Pinot Noir. It is a light, cheerful , and generous wine that should be drunk when young. For completeness, there is also a rosé variant.


This appellation is rarely seen these days because it sounds too 'ordinary' for a Burgundy yet very acceptable whites, reds, and roses are to be found at a very reasonable price in this category.

burgundy WINE *** french WINE



This French white wine is very popular in Burgundy and much further afield. This very fresh wine is often strongly acidic and has a bouquet of green apple, lemon, and may blossom with the occasional hint of flint.


Champagne is a very nice and good sparkling wine original from France, from Champagne wine region. When you say Champagne you thinking a wedding or a business succes like in more movies. But more from wine lovers know about Champagne very more details and you can read this on our website.