Featured Vineyard Series: Chateau de Pizay
Beaujolais is situated just south of the renowned and the most talked about region for Pinot Noir, Burgundy. However, Beaujolais has many gems of its own to offer. It is a Gamay paradise and its countryside is pristine, picturesque and still has that lovely rustic outlook to life.
The Gamay grape is Burgundian in origin and is distinctive for its intense fruitiness and vivid appearance. Gamay is a wine to be enjoyed in its youth. The reason for this statement comes mainly from the phenomenon that is, Beaujolais Nouveau, celebrated annually on the third Thursday of November. The wine is bottled immediately after fermentation and is intended to be enjoyed in the weeks that follow. The wine is exported to over 110 countries in two weeks. A phenomenal marketing coup! Don’t let this narrative fool you about the longevity of Gamay, however, as the 10 Village crus offer more complexity and have remarkable ageability with maturity.
Here are some facts:
- 17,300 hectares planted
- 97% red/3% white grapes
- Main Varieties: Gamay & Chardonnay
- 10 village crus
- Brouilly, Chénas, Chiroubles, Côte-de-Brouilly, Fleurie, Juliénas, Morgon, Moulin-a-Vent, Régnié, Saint-Amour
- 12 AOC (appellations)
- 10 village crus + Beaujolais AOC + Beaujolais Villages AOC
The Chateau and its Estate
Since the Middle Ages, the Pizay wines have been capturing the hearts and tastebuds of the most demanding Beaujolais and Gamay grape lovers. To this day, the wines have been produced with the greatest respect of tradition and have been tasted and marvelled all over the world.
The Chateau Wine Estate lies on what was an old Roman villa and the first towers of the Chateau were built by Gosmard de Pizays in 1030 - the building blocks or foundation of an Estate that has gone from strength to strength. His descendants succeeded him for nine centuries.
Since 1981, the Estate has been owned and managed by a subsidiary of an agricultural insurance fund. The Chateau property consists of a 4-star Chateau Hotel and the estate extends over 100 ha, 50 of which are planted with vines.
The Estate grape varieties and wine styles
Today, the 80 hectares of vines (50 of which surround the Chateau) produce over 400,000 bottles from the following appellations:
- Beaujolais - 31ha of red (and rosé) and 4 ha of white. The reds tease and seduce. The whites charm and are a rare treasure.
- Morgon (3 Cuvées) - 22ha (all red) bewitch you with their delicate nuances but in fact are powerfully robust and full-bodied.
- Brouilly - Château Saint Lager (acquired in 1988) - 14ha (all red)
- Régnié - 5ha and the tenth Cru of Beaujolais
The vines have a rooted age range of 40-110 years. The average age of the vine is 55 years.
The main styles are red, white, rosé and sparkling Blanc de Blancs. The principal grape varieties the Estate works with are Gamay for reds and rosé and Chardonnay for whites and sparkling.
At Cavavin, the two main styles currently available are a Smooth & Juicy Morgon and a Delicate & Fruity Beaujolais Villages. Both wines are gold medal award winning wines for Gamay International and Concours General Agricole, both references of quality.
The 2021 Beaujolais Villages is described as Tender & Fruity by the Chateau. As a result it fits very nicely into our Delicate & Fruity category. The aim is to maintain freshness and youth but this wine also delivers power and complexity. Don’t be fooled by the complex ability of Gamay. The fruits are tangy and crunchy. This wine is the ideal accompaniment to any fun and informal occasion.
The Morgon is seen by the Chateau as round and powerful. In my tasting experience, Morgon is always more robust and fuller in flavour (think black fruits, herbs, chocolate) and has a bit more muscle and richness than a Beaujolais. This 2021 vintage does just that and more. It is melt in the mouth delicious! Hence, why it has moved up a range in our style categories but does not warrant the Dark & Complex label as Gamay still has lovely finesse and lightness to it and there is also no oak influence on this wine. It is the perfect step up from the Beaujolais Villages wine above.