Production

Beaujolais nouveau is made from the Gamay noir à Jus blanc grape, better known simply as Gamay. The grapes must come from the Beaujolais AOC, with those of the ten "cru" appellations excluded. They are grown in "stony, schistous soils". Both Beaujolais Nouveau and Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau are produced; the latter comes from the ~ 30 non-cru villages in the region.

By law, all grapes in the region must be harvested by hand. The wine is made using carbonic maceration, whole berry anaerobic fermentation which emphasizes fruit flavors without extracting bitter tannins from the grape skins. Grapes are loaded into a large (on the order of 20,000-U.S.-gallon (76,000 L)) sealed container that is filled with carbon dioxide. Grapes that are gently crushed at the bottom of the container by the weight of the grapes start to ferment, emitting more CO2. All this carbon dioxide causes fermentation to take place inside the uncrushed grapes (without access to oxygen, hence "anaerobic fermentation"). The resulting wine is fresh, fruity, and very low in tannins.

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