Raise your glass to Beaujolais! 5 Producers you should try.

Domaine de la Prébende produces a deeply mineral Beaujolais from a predominantly clay and limestone terroir, a rarity in a region dominated by granite soils. “Une prébende” essentially means “a tax,” and the domaine sits on the location where monks used to collect taxes from the villagers. As Ghislaine Dupeuble puts it, “Monks didn't like to own low end vineyards!”

The Prébende Beaujolais cuvée, “Anna Asmaquer,” is named for Ghislaine's great grandmother, who married Jules Dupeuble in 1919. The family wanted to add her name to the label because it was Anna who managed the vineyards and winemaking—she is the true source of inspiration for what has become Domaine de la Prébende today.

The Anna Asmaquer Beaujolais is an old vines blend with profound minerality, a bright wild berry nose, and possesses typique Beaujolais finesse. The grapes are harvested manually and vinified completely without SO2. The wines are not chaptalized, filtered, or degassed and only natural yeasts are used for the fermentation. La Prébende crafts one of the best Beaujolais AOC values available today.

Beaujolais Rouge “Anna Asmaquer” 
• Grapes are harvested manually and vinified without SO2
• Fermented naturally (carbonic maceration) and aged in cement and stainless steel
• Fermentation lasts 8 – 12 days
• Bottled unfiltered

100% Gamay
Vine age: Planted in 1930, 1940, 1980
Soil: Clay, Limestone, Granite
Vine area: 6.7 ha

In 1862, at the age of 99, Madame Philiberte Pommier showed the wines of Château du Moulin-à-Vent at the Universal Exhibition of London. The cuvées she showcased were 1853, 1854 and 1856. On this occasion, she won the gold medal for “Vins du Mâconnais.” As a commemorative to this dynamic pioneer and her enthusiasm for well-aged wines, the Parinet family decided to produce this cuvée (“Clos of London”) only during the top vintages — 2009, 2011...

This wine is produced from a very specific clos of 0.56 hectare (1.38 acres) facing the château. The microclimate was identified 250 years ago by Madame Philiberte Pommier as exceptional, producing long-lived wines with distinctive characteristics. The weathered granite soils are sandy and thin, enriched by mineral nutrients within a granite bedrock with seams of manganese, copper, iron and other metallic oxides. The region’s frequently blowing winds have a positive effect on the maturity and concentration of the grapes.

Cultivation: "Lutte raisonnée," or “reasoned protection.": natural soil amendments, manual weed control and integrated pest management
Vine Age: 40 years

100% destemmed; pumping-over during cold pre-fermentation soak and at the end of fermentation to increase roundness and finesse. Punching the cap at the beginning of fermentation; 21 days extraction to bring out the full potential of the terroirs

Barrel Aging: 18 months in 25% aged barrels (75% new): medium toast; French oak from the Allier and Vosges forests; excellent sourcing of oak from the top coopers Taransaud and François Frères to bring out the wine’s signature aromas and tannins

For four generations, the family is established Thevenet Villie-Morgon, in the heart of the Beaujolais vineyards. 
Since 2007, Charly Thevenet, last of the line, makes wine under his name a wine appellation Régnié, called Grain and Granite. As the family estate, where his father, Jean-Paul Thevenet, continues to promote the wines 'natures', Régnié of the vines are organically without chemical fertilizers or pesticides. 
This remarkable wine heritage - the oldest vines of Gamay reach the age of 70 - the soils are granite with very little land, the roots reach quickly the bedrock which brings a frame minerality to the wine. The young winemaker harvest healthy and ripe grapes.

80 year Old-vines with naturally low yields
• Biodynamic methodology (aeration of the soil, herbal infusions, natural composts, cover crops, planting in accordance with the lunar calendar) used to stimulate the natural immune system of the vine
• Manually harvested, as late as possible to achieve maximum ripeness
• Rigorous sorting of the grapes
• Indigenous yeasts only to start fermentation
• Whole cluster fermentation
• Wines aged on fine lees in old Burgundy barrels
• No fining or filtration

Guy Breton is known by his friends as Petit Max – though he is anything but petit, by the way. He took over the family domaine from his grandfather in 1986. Until that point, the family was selling their fruit to the large cooperative wineries which dominated the region and were gravitating towards a uniform style. The rise of imported yeast cultures to impart flavor and aroma, the use of high-tech carbonic maceration, and the widespread commercialization of Beaujolais Nouveau debased the region’s reputation, and Beaujolais came to be seen as one-dimensional, lacking any expression of the native terroir. Following the example of traditionalist Jules Chauvet, Guy and three other local vignerons, Marcel Lapierre, Jean-Paul Thévenet, and Jean Foillard, soon hoisted the flag of this back-to-nature movement. Kermit dubbed this clan the Gang of Four, and the name has stuck ever since. The Gang called for a return to the old practices of viticulture and vinification: starting with old vines, never using synthetic herbicides or pesticides, harvesting late, rigorously sorting to remove all but the healthiest grapes, adding minimal doses of sulfur dioxide or none at all, and refusing both chaptalization and filtration. The end result allows Morgon to express itself naturally, without make-up or plastic surgery: rustic, spicy, loaded with schist minerals and at the same time, refreshing and deep-down delicious.

Breton’s domaine is comprised of three hectares (only 7.2 acres), eighty percent of which lies in the appellation of Morgon, around the village of Villié-Morgon. The vines range in age from 8 to 80 years, with the 80-year-old vines dedicated to the “Vieilles Vignes” cuvée. Guy’s property is located in the microclimates “Saint-Joseph” and “Grand Cras,” where the naturally low pH of the soil creates favorable conditions for Breton’s sulfur-free vinification.

Winemaker Jean Calot's Morgon Beaujolais is birthed from 100-year old Gamay vines in the village of Villié-Morgon. These vines are as inefficient as Ferrari is an inefficient automobile maker, thus the quality of the grapes far outweighs the precious little fruit produced.

The Morgon Vieilles Vignes Cuvée Unique is our exclusive selection, raised in older grand cru Burgundy barrels we source from our partners in the Côte de Nuits. Our barrels work to harmonize and help add a complex spiciness and layered texture to what already is a complex and elegant, old-vine Gamay cuvée.

Calot was the artisan who first gave us the idea to explore the full, historic potential of cru Beaujolais. Yet Calot admits that few importers, let alone wine drinkers, share the same passion. Calot told us his French clients complain that our traditional selection makes them think too much -- that it is too serious and not "gai" or merry like Beaujolais is supposed to be. For us and Calot, this traditional elevage is the only way to achieve the full potential of cru Morgon. Our selection is always bottled unfined and unfiltered, and can age remarkably.