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Details for Château des Pertonnières, Beaujolais

AppellationBeaujolais AOP
Château des Pertonnières
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Beaujolais is technically the most southerly part of Burgundy, and yet to describe its wines, almost all of which are red, as red Burgundy would be a mistake.
That’s because Beaujolais has a very distinct identity.  Firstly, almost all its vines are Gamay, rather than red Burgundy’s beloved Pinot Noir.  The climate is very different too, being semi-continental and so rather warmer than the rest of Burgundy.
Beaujolais as a region, and therefore as a wine, can be split into two.  In the northern half, from Mâcon to Villefranche, the region is hilly and dominated by acidic schist and granite soils.  These hills are home to the Beaujolais Crus: ten villages which have been identified as producing superior wine.  They are, roughly from north to south, St-Amour, Juliénas, Chénas, Moulin-à-Vent, Fleurie, Chiroubles, Morgon, Regnié, Brouilly and Côte de Brouilly.
Scattered around the periphery of these Crus is the Beaujolais-Villages appellation, one level below the Crus but one higher than wine simply labelled as Beaujolais.  This mostly comes from the southern, flatter half of the region, which has alkaline sandstone and clay soils.
The region is also famous, or perhaps notorious, for Beaujolais Nouveau, a wine released almost as soon as it has finished fermenting, on the third Thursday of every November.  Only in the very ripest years is it any more than a curiosity, and it usually tastes distinctly tired by February.  Clever marketing made it hugely popular in the Seventies and Eighties, but the inevitable backlash has harmed the reputation of Beaujolais as a whole.

Château des Pertonnières

Château des Pertonnières is based in Le Breuil in southern Beaujolais, in the famed Pierres Dorée (“Golden Stones”) region regarded as the best part of the south.  The Dupeuble family who own and run it have been making wine here for centuries.
All of their Gamay vineyards are planted on acidic granite soil, which is rare in southern Beaujolais and much more associated with the fine Cru villages of the north.  Those vineyards on alkaline sandstone and clay, comprising about a third of the total estate of 42 hectares, are planted with Chardonnay and used to produce Beaujolais Blanc.
Also atypical for southern Beaujolais is their focus on quality and minimal intervention, with near-organic lutte raisonée  viticulture, fermentation using only wild yeasts, no filtration and, even more unusually, no chaptalisation.  The vineyards, many of which are over 50 years old, are all on south-facing slopes which enable them to ripen grapes sufficiently not to need any added sugar.

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