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Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrive! 11/14/2006

Monsieur Georges Dubœuf

At one minute past midnight on the third Thursday of each November, from little villages and towns like Romanèche-Thorins, over a million cases of Beaujolais Nouveau begin their journey through a sleeping France to Paris for immediate shipment to all parts of the world. Banners proclaim the good news: Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé! "The New Beaujolais has arrived!" One of the most frivolous and animated rituals in the wine world has begun.

By the time it is over, over 65 million bottles, nearly half of the region's total annual production will be distributed and drunk around the world. It has become a worldwide race to be the first to serve this new wine of the harvest. In doing so, it has been carried by motorcycle, balloon, truck, helicopter, Concorde jet, elephant, runners and rickshaws to get it to its final destination. It is amazing to realize that just weeks before this wine was a cluster of grapes in a grower’s vineyard. But by an expeditious harvest, a rapid fermentation, and a speedy bottling, all is ready at the midnight hour.

Beaujolais Nouveau began as a local phenomenon in the local bars, cafes, and bistros of Beaujolais and Lyons. Each autumn the new Beaujolais would arrive with much fanfare. In pitchers filled from the grower’s barrels, wine was drunk by an eager population. It was wine made fast to drink while the normal Beaujolais was taking a more leisurely course. Eventually, the government stepped into regulate the sale of all this quickly transported, free-flowing wine.

The official release date was set for November 16th. Beaujolais Nouveau was formally born. By this time, what was just a local tradition had gained so much popularity that the news of it reached Paris. The race was on. It wasn't long thereafter that the word spilled out of France and around the world. In 1985, the date was again changed, this time to the third Thursday of November tying it to a weekend and making the celebration complete. But wherever the new Beaujolais went, importers had to agree not to sell it before midnight on the third Thursday of November.

It is a triumph of marketing and promotion, mostly due to the efforts of Georges Dubœuf. The largest negociant in the region, he is a tireless promoter of Beaujolais and Beaujolais Nouveau. More than a fifth of his annual production, about 4 million bottles, is Beaujolais Nouveau. 

Today Georges Dubœuf is in fact dubbed as “The King of Beaujolais”. His name, colourful labels and the high quality of his wines put Dubœuf as the “must have” nouveau. So make sure you book your bottle of Dubœuf Beaujolais Nouveau at the Wands Cash & Carry as only a limited quantity of bottles will be available.

Wands Limited, a subsidiary of The Farsons Group of Companies, is the sole agent and representative of Georges Dubœuf wines in Malta.