When it comes to French wine tasting trips, Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Champagne get all the love. But if you're willing to venture a bit beyond the usual vacation favorites, wine tasting in the Beaujolais Region can yield some delicious surprises.
Beaujolais wines are mostly red – by law, no more than 10 percent of vineyards are dedicated to white grapes – and are known for being low in tannins. But you may know Beaujolais best under the colorful Georges Duboeuf labels you see in America around Thanksgiving, when the region releases Beaujolais Nouveau, which is meant to be drunk immediately after being bottled. In fact, its release is practically a national holiday, with Beaujolais Nouveau being uncorked with great fanfare at midnight on the third Thursday of November each year.
The Beaujolais wine region starts just north of Lyon and follows the Saône River to Mâcon, about 45 miles north. This is good news if you want to explore vineyards without having it take over your entire vacation, as wine tasting in the Beaujolais Region is an easy day trip from Lyon – and in a pinch, could even be a (full) day from Paris as well.