Celebrating Beaujolais Nouveau Day in Style

Marking the release of the region’s first batch of Beaujolais, this annual event attracts wine lovers from all over the world. Here’s our guide to celebrating Beaujolais Nouveau Day in style…

Burgundy wine - Beaujolais Nouveau

Celebrating Beaujolais Nouveau

Traditionally, Beaujolais Nouveau Day is celebrated in the French region of Beaujolais (30 kilometres northeast of Lyon) on the third Thursday in November to mark the first release of Beaujolais nouveau wine. However, it’s not just the wine that is celebrated, it’s also a chance to honour the stunning region of Beaujolais and its people. It’s on this date that the region comes alive with fireworks, music and festivals. In fact, there are over 100 festivals held in the region in honour of the event, the most famous of which is in Les Sarmentelles de Beaujeu, the capital of the region.

By French law, exactly one minute after midnight strikes on Beaujolais Nouveau Day– the wine is released to the world –just weeks after the wine’s grapes have been harvested. It’s during this period, that over 65 million bottles will be consumed!

How is Beaujolais Nouveau Made?

This fresh and fruity wine is made from Gamay grapes, and must be harvested by hand. They’re then kept in a huge sealed vessel filled with carbon dioxide. As the grapes at the bottom are crushed and start to ferment they give off more CO2, which aids the fermentation of the uncrushed grapes, too. This is a process called ‘carbonic maceration’, and is the key to the short fermentation process with a fresh and low-tannin flavour.

Originally, Beaujolais nouveau was consumed only by locals as a budget-friendly primeur (young wine) to toast the end of the harvest. Unlike other wines, standard vintages have a short shelf life of around six months.

Grapes Languedoc Wine

The Race to Market

It is perhaps this short lifecycle that has encouraged the worldwide race to bring the wine to market in November each year. The slogan “Le Beaujolais nouveau est arrivé” has adorned banners and posts all over the world to advertise the arrival of the wine, although the new slogan “It’s Beaujolais Nouveau Time” was introduced in English-speaking countries in 2005.

Mark the Occasion in Style

This fresh, young wine is the perfect choice for serving slightly chilled, and paired with a selection of good French cheeses and charcuterie. Often described as a party wine, it’s the perfect excuse for marking the occasion with friends.

Le Beaujolais nouveau est arrive!

Want to Know More?

Whilst many of our itineraries offer a fantastic selection of wine-themed excursions and a variety of local wine on board, our Wine Appreciation Cruises are across France & Italy allow you to experience some of Europe’s Best Wines and visit beautiful, boutique vineyards that have been around for centuries.

Speak to one of our team to find out how we can help you create your perfect wine experience with us.

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