Fleurie AOC, the best known of the ten Beaujolais crus. ‘Easy to pronounce, enjoy, and sell,’ (Clive Coates MW: 1990, p.185).

Vineyard area & wine production: 1988 42,011hl from 793ha (Clive Coates MW: 1990, p.184). | 1989 45,451hl. | 1990 48,047hl. | 1991 43,745hl. | 2002 879ha of vines produced 59,697hl (Guide Hachette des Vins 2004, p.163).

Terroir: The soil of sandy granite is described as ‘pink granite shingles,’ (Andrew Jefford: 2002, p.110) or pebbles whose pink-coloured crystals are relatively large in size, and sharp edged. These formed more than 300 million years ago–at the same time as, but underneath–the Hercynian mountains whose gradual erosion revealed them. Comtesse Alexandra de Vazeilles of Château des Bachelards describes these small pink pebbles as sharp-edged and composed of (black) mica, quartz and feldspar. This granite parent rock is found in the higher reaches of the AOC, near the chapel which overlooks the village and it dedicated to the Madonna (Chapelle de la Madone), from which many of Fleurie’s most age worthy wines come. Soils in lower lying areas have more clay.

Wine style: Potentially ‘heady perfumes, delightful juicy fruit,’ says Oz Clarke (2015, p.118) who warns high demand for them means ‘many wines are overpriced and dull.’

With food: Doug Wregg suggests ‘an aromatic Fleurie will happily wash down equally aromatic andouillette,’ (Les Caves de Pyrène list, July 2011).


Certified Biodynamic: Château des Bachelards.