The history of Beaujolais

The discovery of flint tools demonstrates that people have lived in the Beaujolais region for a long time.
Celtic people lived in the area during the Gallic period, before the arrival of the Lords of Beaujeu in the Middle Ages.

histoire du beaujolais
  • En 955

    Beaujolais gets its name from the historic capital of Beaujeu, called "Bellojovium" in 955.

  • In the 12th century

    A Ville Franche (now Villefranche-sur-Saône) was founded on the banks of the River Saône by Humbert III. Trade, especially wine trade, was already very important during this period.

  • In the 17th century

    The vineyards flourished and supplied the Lyonnaise market thanks to the transportation of barrels on the River Saône.

  • In the 18th century

    Wine was transported along the Saône to the Loire Valley, and then was carried by barge on the River Loire until it reached Paris. Later on, the railways would take up the baton.

  • Today

    The Beaujolais vineyards, with its 12 protected wines, are famous worldwide.

histoire du beaujolais

Work on the vineyard in the spring

In spring, the vines wake up and the sap starts to circulate in the plant again. The buds start to develop, and then open up to reveal the first tender-green leaves.
In May and June, the winegrower selects the buds that will develop into the shoots and fruits of that year, and also carries out "de-budding", which involves removing undesirable buds from the shoots. Tucking in takes place in June, which entails going along each vine and removing the stems pointing upwards, so that the vine remains aerated and well-maintained.

Wine preservation and transportation

During the early Classical era, people used wineskins made of sheepskin. Then, during the Classical era, wine was preserved in amphorae (ceramic vessels). In the 5th century BC, Herodotus used palm wood barrels on maritime wine trade routes. In the 2nd century, the Roman empire used barrels to preserve and transport wine, making their use more widespread. It was a game-changer for the development of a wine market, as wine could be easily transported by sailors on rivers and waterways.

The “Lily Trail”

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All the information you need for your holiday in Beaujolais

Hiking Code

Whether you’re taking a short walk or embarking on a long-distance hike, ensure that your adventure is both beautiful and safe by following some simple tips.