Discover the Famous Beaujolais red wine and the Beaujolais region
The Beaujolais Historical:
Beaujolais had always made a "vin de l'année" to celebrate the end of the harvest, but after WWII it was only for local consumption. In fact, once the Beaujolais AOC was established in 1937, AOC rules meant that Beaujolais wine could only be officially sold after the 15th December in the year of harvest. These rules were relaxed on 13 November 1951, and the Union Interprofessionnelle des Vins du Beaujolais (UIVB) formally set the 15 November as the release date for what would henceforth be known as Beaujolais Nouveau.
A few members of the UIVB, notably the négociant Georges Duboeuf, saw the potential for marketing Beaujolais Nouveau. Not only was it a way to clear lots of vin ordinaire at a good profit, but selling wine within weeks of the harvest was great for cash flow. Hence the idea was born of a race to Paris carrying the first bottles of the new vintage. This attracted a lot of media coverage, and by the 1970s had become a national event. The races spread to neighbouring countries in Europe in the 1980s, followed by North America, and in the 1990s to Asia. In 1985, the date was changed to the third Thursday in November to take best advantage of marketing in the following weekend.
This "Beaujolais Day" is accompanied by publicity events and heavy advertising. The traditional slogan, even in English-speaking countries, was “Le Beaujolais nouveau est arrivé!” (Literally, "The new Beaujolais has arrived!"), but in 2005 this was changed to "It's Beaujolais Nouveau Time! “. In the United States, it is promoted as a drink for Thanksgiving, which falls a week after the wine is released.
Duboeuf remains the biggest producer of Beaujolais Nouveau; unlike the "flower" labels of his other wines, his Nouveau features a colourful abstract design that changes every year. Duboeuf has silk ties made each year with the label's abstract design, and releases them through select wholesalers and distributors.
The Beaujolais nowaday:
The most “sensual of vineyards” says the Revue du Vin de France, spreads over 21 655 hectares and runs along a ribbon of land that is 10 to 15 kilometres wide by 50 kilometres in length, from Mâcon to the north to Lyon to the south, on the undulating slopes of the Monts du Beaujolais hills that rise up from 700 to over 1 000 m above sea level.
The ‘Gamay Noir à Jus Blanc’ grape variety is master here on this land blessed by the gods, giving an extraordinary palette of wines from the most refined flavourful Beaujolais and Beaujolais Villages, to the most rich and complex that are the ten Beaujolais Crus, each of which has its own personality that is intimately linked to its terroir: Brouilly, Chiroubles, Chénas, Côte de Brouilly, Fleurie, Juliénas, Morgon, Moulin à Vent, Régnié and Saint-Amour.
Within the appellations of Beaujolais and Beaujolais Villages is our starlet of a wine: Beaujolais Nouveau that the whole world waits for impatiently before its release on 3rd Thursday in November.
What a marvellous and timeless idea it is to celebrate the new wine. A great way to share a convivial instant at the beginning of winter and discover the aromas and flavours of the new vintage.
On a more exclusive note, some Beaujolais and Beaujolais Villages winemakers craft sumptuous White wines (using the Chardonnay grape variety) and Rosé (using the Gamay grape variety), as well as some spectacular sparkling wines.
Don’t miss out on any of the entire Beaujolais range because, as the ‘Gerbelle et Maurange’ guide from the Revue du Vin de France says: “ The Beaujolais vineyard gives the very best price to pleasure ratio for wines in France, whether it be for Beaujolais, Beaujolais Villages or the Crus. The result will astound you.
Beaujeu, the historical heart of Beaujolais:
Beaujeu gives its name to the famous wine region of Beaujolais , a former province of France of which it is the historical capital. However it was overtaken in the 14th century by Villefranche-sur-Saône, which remains the main commercial centre of the region. Beaujeu is celebrating the Beaujolais Nouveau with the “ Sarmentelles de Beaujeu” on a 3 days festivities.
This event is the most famous in the Beaujolais region and is turning to be internationally known as well. Click here for more information.