‘Buried’ Beaujolais to be dug up

11th September, 2017 by Rupert Millar

Several barrels of Beaujolais are to be disinterred from the soil of Brouilly where they have lain since spring last year as part of an experiment to see if a spell underground makes a difference to the ageing process.

The barrels being buried in April last year

Three barrels of Brouilly and Côte de Brouilly wines from the 2015 vintage, were buried in the hillside, just over two metres deep, on 10 April 2016 and will be dug up to be tasted, bottled and sold on 16 October this year.

One barrel contains a blend of Côte de Brouilly provided by Domaine Père Benoit, Domaine de Franck Tavian, Michel Aubry and Patrice Monternier – each of which represents the four cardinal soil types found on the volcano.

The second barrel was provided by Château de Pierreux and the third by Les Vignerons de Bel Air – each again with distinct soils.

The inspiration for the experiment apparently came from stories of ancient nomads from Asia Minor and Georgia who used to bury wine in order to conserve it but the principal reason for the project, much like ageing wines underwater, is to see if there is an discernible difference between those matured ‘normally’ and those that have spent time stewing away actually in the soil that, to a point, helped create them in the first place.

The wines will be tasted against control samples of the same wines that have matured in barrels above ground.

Once tasted the wines will be bottled in December – around 300 are expected to be filled – and sold at the wine shop of L’Espace des Brouilly, the centre dedicated to the commune’s wines.

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