According to French law, Beaujolais Nouveau is released at one minute past midnight on the third Thursday of November.
This decades-old tradition is celebrated worldwide with creative events, heralding the wine’s arrival.
The harvest in Beaujolais started on September 13th 2010 under brilliant, sunny skies and Founder and Co-owner, Georges Duboeuf’s forecast for the 2010 release was equally sunny:
“A hot, dry August was followed by welcome rains which helped plump the berries, giving them extra roundness. Yields are expected to be slightly lower than usual with very good sugar levels. The first few juices, now undergoing fermentation, have impressed us with their fine crimson colors and their rich, floral and red fruit aromas.”
The first release of the harvest, the 2010 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau was indeed a happy occasion and took place on November 18th where the young, fruity wine was uncorked during festive celebrations around the world!
Ten Things to Know about Beaujolais Nouveau
1. French law dictates that Beaujolais Nouveau must always be released on the third Thursday in November all over the world.
2. Beaujolais is located in the region of Burgundy, France, where winemaking traces back to the Roman times. There are 2,500 Beaujolais growers in the region.
3. Beaujolais Nouveau is made from 100% Gamay grapes, which have thinner skins than most grapes, causing a lower tannin level.
4. By law, Beaujolais grapes must be harvested by hand and grown on individual, free standing vines. In 2010 the harvest started on September 13th, with 35,000 grape pickers hard at work across the 3,000 vineyards.
5. Beaujolais Nouveau owes its easy drinkability to a winemaking process called carbonic maceration, or whole-berry fermentation. This technique preserves the fresh, fruity quality of the wine, without extracting bitter tannins from the grape skins.
6. Approximately 1/3 of the entire crop of the Beaujolais region is sold as Beaujolais Nouveau.
7. Although many Beaujolais wines are made to be drunk young, within 12 months of bottling, some of the Crus have excellent ageing potential, such as Morgon and Moulin-à-Vent.
8. Beaujolais Nouveau is meant to be served slightly cool, at about 55°F which makes it even more refreshing and fruit forward than if you serve it at room temperature.
9. Beaujolais Nouveau pairs beautifully with a range of foods, from casual dishes to holiday dishes such as turkey and ham. Because of the timing of its release, Beaujolais Nouveau is widely known as the ideal wine to serve at Thanksgiving.
10. More than 35 million bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau are expected to be consumed in the months following the wine’s release.