Beaujolais has seen its fair share of ups and downs in recent years yet remains on of the most productive wine regions in France. Home to the Gamay grape, and with it a method of fermentation, that entails whole bunch fermentation, called carbonic maceration. When good these can be some of the most refreshing red wines in the world, often served chilled, and the source of immense pleasure. The wines are typically light and intensely fruity with wonderful acidity and a sense of joyful exuberance not found in other barrel fermented, richer wines.
Beaujolais Villages is an appellation that requires gamay grapes grown in Beaujolais to come from the better situated vineyards in the foothills of the Massif Central, and as such the designation on the label generally tends to indicate higher quality than a straight Beaujolais.
A separate appellation to Brouilly that comprises a mere 300ha of land higher up the hillside from Brouilly itself. The wines from the Cotes de Brouilly, owing to their hillside location, tend to be more powerful than those produced in Brouilly's lower vineyards.
Fleurie produces Beaujolais, of all the ten Crus, that is perhaps the most perfumed and floral.
Morgon's wines are generally seen as the densest and most powerful of all the ten Crus in Beaujolais.