Beaujolais Nouveau marred by bad harvest

15th November, 2012 by Lucy Shaw

Today’s annual Beaujolais Nouveau release celebrations will be restrained, after a poor harvest has left hundreds of growers facing bankruptcy.

Bottles of Georges Duboeuf’s latest Beaujolais Nouveau release arrive in China for today’s Beaujolais Nouveau Day celebrations. Credit: Getty Images.

The 2012 growing season was marred by bad weather, with heavy rains, severe frosts and destructive hailstorms leading to a severely reduced harvest.

This year, 800 growers have already applied for financial aid from the government, and estimates suggest that as many as 300 of the region’s 2,300 producers could go bankrupt, with some putting the figure as high as 500.

“Vineyards are at the early stages of bankruptcy in that they have cash flow problems,” Jean Bourjade, head of Inter-Beaujolais told AFP.

Bourjade however, described the high figure estimates as alarmist, claiming up to 100 growers might be hit.

“The low harvest has hit just as we were starting to see the end of the tunnel,” he said.

The 2012 Beaujolais Nouveau campaign

Beaujolais has been fighting against falling sales for several years. Around 3,000 hectares of vines have been uprooted in the region in the past six years in a bid to reduce overproduction.

This will not be a problem in 2012, with the poor growing season cutting yields in half.

“We’ve seen it all this year: frost, hail, vine diseases like mildew,” Daniell Bulliat, chairman of the Beaujolais Nouveau festival in Beaujeu, told AFP.

“The problems are not being ignored, but the festival is an anti-depressant,” he added.

Beaujolais Nouveau Day officially starts at midnight on the third Thursday of November in Beaujeu, near Lyon, home of the vintage.

This year, the campaign has been launched with a fashion theme, as promoters feel the wine shares fashion’s qualities of “refinement and glamour.”

The term robe is also common to both, meaning both “dress” and “colour” in French.

In 2011, half of the 35 million bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau produced were exported, with Japan snapping up 8 million, the US 2.4m, and Germany 1.3m.

French law prohibits new batches of the light-bodied, fruity wine made from Gamay from being sold until the third Thursday in November.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

Brand Ambassador – Santa Rita Estates

Santa Rita Estates
London or Hertfordshire but with flexibility to travel, UK

Sales Executive - Wine and Spirits Awards

The Drinks Business
Central London, UK

On-Trade Channel Manager

Delegat Europe Limited (UK)
London / Midlands, GB

Trade Marketing Analyst

Delegat Europe (UK)
London, GB

Key Account Executive

Delegat Europe Limited (UK)
London / Midlands, GB

Senior National Account Manager

Bibendum PLB
London, UK

ON-TRADE Sales Executive

Roberson Wine
London, UK

OFF-TRADE Sales Executive

Roberson Wine
London, UK

Judging Week Runners

Decanter World Wine Awards
ExCel Centre, London E16, UK

Sales Administrator

Les Caves de Pyrène
Guildford, UK

Retail Commercial Executive

Laithwaite's Wine
Theale, Berkshire

Wine Buyer

Conviviality Plc
Crewe, UK

Sales Account Manager - On-Trade

Berkmann Wine Cellars
Liverpool

Sales Account Manager - On-Trade

Berkmann Wine Cellars
M3/M4 corridor

Media Sales Manager - Hong Kong

The Drinks Business Hong Kong
Hong Kong

The Global Merlot Masters 2017

Deadline : 31st March 2017

The Prosecco Masters 2017

Deadline : 10th March 2017

db Awards 2017

Deadline : 28th April 2017

The Global Organic Masters 2017

Deadline : 3rd March 2017

Click to view more

The Global Sparkling Masters

the drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Sparkling Masters

The Global Rosé Masters 2016

the drinks business is proud to announce the launch of the Global Rosé Masters 2016.

The Prosecco Masters 2016

Now in its third year, the competition will reflect the growth in popularity of this fresh and exciting sparkling wine from the picturesque regions of Veneto and Friuli.

The Global Pinot Noir Masters 2016

After the success of last year’s competition that judged over 250 wines from no less than 16 countries, the drinks business is proud to announce the third year of the Global Pinot Noir Masters

Click to view more