Each year, wine connoisseurs throughout the world await the third Thursday in November so that they can finally purchase bottles of one of France’s most beloved vintages, Beaujolais nouveau. While we love to sample the delicious, fruity red here at home, it tastes even better you enjoy it right at the source: France’s fabled Beaujolais region, in the southern part of Burgundy, north of Lyon. Stonewashed buildings dot the verdant landscape here, a 12-appellation region where such painters as Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Cézanne found their inspiration. Lush grapevines bow slightly with ripe grapes waiting to be plucked by the hands of the region’s top wine makers.
Made primarily from the gamay grapes that grow especially well in the region’s protected, semi-Mediterranean climate, nouveau (also known as vin de primeur) was once a locally consumed wine that was used to celebrate the end of a year’s harvest. It wasn’t until the 1960s that the fruity, chilled wine was first bottled for broader consumption — the result of, among other things, demand that grew after World War II. Shortly thereafter, Beaujolais nouveau came to be recognized as a major global player for red table wine, its popularity bolstered to the height at which it remains today.
Hamaeau du Vin
Visiting wine enthusiasts are invited to the Hameau du Vin, where they can sample this world-famous wine no matter what time of year they arrive. An immersive cultural experience, the Hameau du Vin will educate and inspire visitors, introducing them to famous regional wines and surrounding them with a multitude of activities — a museum, cinema, and adventure golf, to name a few.
On Vantage Travel’s French Waterways: Highlights of Burgundy, Beaujolais & Provence river cruise, you’ll be treated to a visit and tasting at the Hameau du Vin. Let Vantage transport you through history as you meander through the picturesque French countryside, sampling its rich flavors and artistic landscapes. Long after your trip is over, with every sip of a Beaujolais nouveau you savor, you’ll remember the time you spent in this beautiful region.