The Dedalus Guide to the 10 Crus of Beaujolais

The Dedalus Guide to the 10 Crus of Beaujolais

Jun 29, 2023Dedalus Staff

Focus on These 10 Villages When Looking for the Best Beaujolais

Beaujolais is all about pleasure. It has kind of hedonistic sensuality that makes you want to party with it. Dive headfirst into its joyful aromas of red fruits and wildflowers. This tiny region south of Burgundy is packed with easy drinking bottles, and almost all of them will give you a good time. But if you’re like us, you want to drink wine that’s equal parts pleasure-bomb and contemplative masterpiece —  wine with a story and a point of view. That means you should be looking to the 10 villages in the northern half of Beaujolais. Called crus, this is where you’ll find seriously delicious wine worthy of the slightly higher price tag.

The Difference Between Cru Beaujolais and…Everything Else

Cru Beaujolais takes the fun, fresh Gamay grape variety and transforms it into euphoric wines with plenty to say about their terroir. While wines in the southern half of the region — Beaujolais Villages and Beaujolais — are also made with Gamay and (usually) the traditional carbonic maceration method, cru Beaujolais benefits from complex soils that make its wines stand out. In the south, you’ll find fertile clay and sedimentary soils. In the north, winemakers benefit from poor granite soils that produce higher-quality fruit. The results speak for themselves. Cru Beaujolais is a storm of power and electricity, with mind-blowingly vivid aromas of fruit, flowers and spice. Drinking it is an ecstatic experience that can’t be topped.

Bottom line, Cru Beaujolais is Terrific Year-Round Wine

Wines from the 10 Crus of Beaujolais are what you want to drink on repeat all year long. They owe allegiance to no season, have no banner other than pleasure. They can cut a lush path through Thanksgiving feasts and drive electric currents through dripping mouthfuls of beefy burger. They can take a cheeseboard from ho hum to full feast, and transform a sturdy mason jar into a holy grail for front porch stoop sessions with your friends. 

A juicy burger in front of a glass of Beaujolais

Your Quick Start Guide to Finding the Best Beaujolais

That said, finding wines from the 10 crus can be tricky unless you know what to look for. You won’t see the name “Beaujolais” on the label, instead you’ll see one of the 10 village names. We’ve included pronunciation guides so that you can ask for these in your local wine shop, as well as some general aromas and tasting notes you might find in each (although these may vary). Once you’re familiar with all 10 of the Beaujolais crus, and know how to find them or ask for them at your local shop, let your own curiosity and palate guide your exploration.

The 10 Crus


  • Pronunciation: Jool yeh nah

  • Color: Deep ruby 

  • Aromas: Red fruit, strawberry, violet, cinnamon, red currant, and peony

  • Notes: This is a rich, powerful wine that should be drunk immediately


  • Pronunciation: Sen Ta moor

  • Aromas: Kirsch, spice, peony, iris, raspberry, violet

  • Notes: You’ll find a lot of variety in the character of the wines. Some are light and easy, while others dark and complex. The differences come from the varied types of soil found in Saint-Amour.


  • Pronunciation: Shay na

  • Aromas: Black fruit, wild roses, and spice

  • Notes: The smallest of all 10 crus. The wines are graceful and effortless.


  • Pronunciation: Fluh ree

  • Aromas: Iris, violet, rose, red fruit, peaches.

  • Notes: The most delicate of all the 10 crus. Ethereal and atmospheric. 


  • Pronuncation: Moo lahn a vahn

  • Aromas: Floral, iris, lily, violet peony

  • Notes: Hearty Beaujolais with fascinating texture and aromas. Named after the historic windmill at  the top of the hill where the vines grow.


  • Pronunciation: Shee rooble

  • Aromas: Violet

  • Notes: The highest elevation crus. The wines are very low tannin and light-bodied.


  • Pronunciation: More gon

  • Aromas: Earthy aromas with apricot and peach

  • Notes: By far the most intense. The wines of Morgon are powerful, structured, and serious. They’re rich in color and aroma.


  • Pronunciation: Ray nyay

  • Aromas: Red currant and raspberry

  • Notes: A recently established cru that makes full-bodied, voluptuous wines.


  • Pronunciation: Broo yee

  • Aromas: Raspberries, cherries, blueberries, currants

  • Notes: The pink granite soils result in light-bodied wines

Côte de Brouilly

  • Pronunciation: Koht du broo yee

  • Aromas: Lively with deep fruits

  • Notes: Located at higher elevation on an extinct volcano


Now that you're equipped with a new understanding of the 10 Crus of Beaujolais, check out our collection of artisan-made, hand-picked wines that will absolutely blow your mind.


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