What is the Celebration of the Beaujolais Nouveau?

Beaujolais Nouveau: Third Thursday in November

The French government has ordained the third Thursday of November as the release date of the new young wine. To understand why is to know and love the spirit of the French around their prized Beaujolais wines.

Until World War II, Beaujolais was always produced and celebrated locally in the villages of the Beaujolais region. It was a celebration of the harvest and the beginning of the production of the wine that would be released to the world the following year. The young wine was typically drunk six to eight weeks after the harvest of the Gamay grapes.

In 1937, the Beaujolais AOC (Appellation D’Origine Contrôlée) was formed, and they set forth the decree that the Beaujolais wine could not be sold until December 15th of the harvest year. In 1951, these laws were relaxed, and the Union Interprofessionnelle des Vins du Beaujolais (UIVB) formally set  November 15th as the release date for what would be known, going forward, as the Beaujolais Nouveau.

A few members of the UIVB saw the marketing potential of this new release date. Georges Duboeuf was the most notable member and still, today, one of the largest producers of the Beaujolais Nouveau. The selling of this celebratory wine was a way to clear out a lot of “vin ordinaire” and help cash flow for the vinyards. Thus the idea was born of creating a race to be the first to receive and consume this young jewel. This race gained so much attention in the 70s that it became a national event in France. It spread to neighboring European countries and the US in the 80s and then to Asia in the 90s.

In 1985, the release date was changed to the more memorable third Thursday in November. So how did the French Government pick the Third Thursday and not the second or fourth? The clue to the answer is in this article. Or come to join our local celebration on November 2oth and find out!

Come Celebrate the Beaujolais Nouveau 2014 with us on the third Thursday of November!

November 20th: 6:00 to 9pm, Union Gables Bed and Breakfast in Saratoga Springs.


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