Bourjade: ‘I wish Beaujolais could make more white’

Jean Bourjade, managing director of Inter Beaujolais, has expressed a wish that Beaujolais made more white wine after its enthusiastic reception by consumers.

BeaujolaisSpeaking to the drinks business at the annual Beaujolais tasting this week, Bourjade was talking about the successful consumer tastings that Inter Beaujolais has been holding, most recently at Taste of London.

“What was striking,” he said, “was Beaujolais blanc, people were amazed. When you say ‘Chardonnay’ they expect big and buttery not the clean, mineral and focused wines we have.

“I wish Beaujolais could put more white on the market as people would go for it.”

However, the reception to the red wines has been similarly positive.

“It’s been a big success,” he continued, “98% of people were delighted with the wines.

“The idea is for consumers to get to know Beaujolais wines and Gamay. Lots of ladies who only drink white wine, tasted Beaujolais and Beaujolais Villages chilled and many said, ‘that I would drink’.”

Having begun the current campaign three years ago, Bourjade reported that there have been “no major changes” to Beaujolais so far but, “the interesting thing is that many of the professionals here (at the tasting) have said that the perception of quality has changed in the three years.

“2009, 2010 and 2011 have helped, they really lifted Beaujolais.”

With reputation restored, and considerable good will among the trade established, Bourjade said that the essential thing now was to approach consumers more directly – hence the attendance at consumer shows.

“If we want a boost we need the public to enjoy our wines and ask for them in shops and restaurants,” said Bourjade.

He explained that he thought there would be a more concerted swing back to lighter, lower alcohol wines.

“Who knows when it will come,” he admitted, “but Beaujolais needs to be onn standby to give that alternative.”

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