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It's Beaujolais Nouveau time!

31 October 2023

It’s almost the third Thursday in November, and almost time to uncork a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau. Most of us have probably heard some hype around ‘’Beaujolais Nouveau Day”, a huge tradition in France. Why is it even a thing? 

Crafting Beaujolais Nouveau: From Vine to Rapid Release

Beaujolais Nouveau is a young, fruity red wine made from Gamay grapes grown in the Beaujolais region of France. The production process of Beaujolais Nouveau is characterized by its speed and freshness.

An accelerated process is used, called carbonic maceration, where fermentation takes place in the uncrushed grapes. This yields a fruity wine, which is low in tannins and light in structure; it will not develop into a complex wine. Bottled within a few weeks of being picked, it gives le vigneron an indication of what the year’s wine will be like and whether adjustments need to be made for the rest of the Beaujolais vintage which will be aged more traditionally. 

The whole process from vine to market is rapid, aiming to capture the fresh and vibrant character of the wine. Beaujolais Nouveau is meant to be consumed young, typically within a few months of its release, to appreciate its fresh and fruity qualities.


Why is Le Beaujolais celebrated in France?

In the mid-20th century, clever marketing strategies by producers, particularly Georges Duboeuf, helped popularize Beaujolais Nouveau. Duboeuf, along with other winemakers, began promoting the wine's release as an annual event, creating anticipation and excitement. 

Designating the third Thursday of November as the official release date gave Beaujolais Nouveau a sense of ceremony. This timing coincided with the end of the harvest season, adding to the celebratory atmosphere.

A tradition that last

Today, everywhere in France, the third Thursday of November marks the official release of Beaujolais Nouveau. The release is often celebrated with parties, wine tastings, and gatherings in restaurants, and bars. Restaurants and cafes offer special menus paired with Beaujolais Nouveau.

Beaujolais Nouveau has woven itself into various cultures, becoming a symbol of celebration and conviviality. It's not merely about the wine itself but the spirit of togetherness and festivity that accompanies its release.

Celebrate French tradition at our Apero Beaujolais event: 

French Library