The harvest season in the Beaujolais region of France is now in full swing. The 2018 growing season has been excellent with ideal conditions that have given winemakers real peace of mind. They anticipate an exquisite vintage both in terms of quantity and quality, from the North to the South of Beaujolais. In just about two months, people everywhere will be able to enjoy Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau 2018, the first wine of the harvest, made from the area’s gamay grapes.
Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau has a particular history for me. In November of 1984, my husband bought a bottle to toast our new home. It was first year that the wine was imported to the United States. We enjoyed the fresh, light bodied wine so much, that I make sure to purchase it every year when it becomes available on the third Thursday of November, known as Beaujolais Day. It is a very pleasing wine that pairs easily with many foods from a crudité and brunch items to holiday meals. It would be more than thirty years later that I would have the opportunity to visit Beaujolais, meet George Duboeuf and his family, and learn about the time-honored traditions of winemaking in the region.
The Duboeuf family has been making wines for centuries. As a young man, Georges Duboeuf realized that there could be a good market for his family’s fine wines and those of the other producers in Beaujolais. In 1951, at the age of 18, Georges put a few bottles of Pouily-Fuisse in the satchels of his bicycle and set off to sell the wines to restaurateurs and individuals. He pedaled to Thoissey, a town 10 kilometers away from his home on the other side of the Saone River to have his wine tasted by Paul Blanc whose restaurant, Le Chapon Fin, had two Michelin stars. Blanc not only purchased Georges’ Pouilly-Fuisse but also suggested that he would take red wines if they were just as good. From these modest beginnings, Duboeuf would go on to be a major force in the wine industry, impressing chefs and wine aficionados around the world.
Rock of Solutré (Courtesy of Les Vins Georges Duboeuf)
Beaujolais is located just a few hours drive time north of the bustling city of Lyon and there’s a major train line that serves the area. Rich in history, beauty, and of course gastronomy, the region has something for everyone to enjoy. Visit beautiful vineyards, hike to the top of Rock of Solutré, shop at the charming Gold Stone village of Oingt, dine at fine restaurants like the Michelin starred Chateau de Bagnois, or just relax at a café in the inviting village of Chiroubles.
Gold Stone Village of Oingt
A highlight of a trip to Beaujolais is the opportunity to visit Le Hameau Duboeuf with its gardens, a mini-golf course, restaurant, and a lovely shop. There’s also a museum with over 3,000 objects linked to wine that includes art and an impressive collection of winemaking tools that takes visitors through centuries of winemaking. The museum was first conceived by Georges Duboeuf when he was a youngster and became a reality many years later.
Chateau de Nervers (some of the oldest vines in all of France)
When I visited Beaujolais on a recent media tour, I had the pleasure and honor of tasting Les Vins Georges Duboeuf wines with Georges and his son Franck. They presented over twenty-five of their fine wines. The many outstanding ones included Brouilly Rouge 2017 Chateau de Nervers; Cote de Brouilly 2017 Domaine du Riaz; Julianas 2017 Chateau des Capitans; Morgon 2017 Jean Ernest Descombes; and Pouilly Fuisse Blanc 2017 Domaine du Bois Rosier. The opportunity to experience such a grand tasting increased my knowledge of wine and a true appreciation of the Dubouef’s wine portfolio.
This year, in response to the popularity of rosé wine, Les Vins Georges Duboeuf will also be launching Beaujolais Nouveau Rosé 2018 in addition to Beaujolais Nouveau 2018. On Beaujolais Day, November 15, 2018 join with millions of people around the globe who, like me, wait eagerly for the release of Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau. Raise a glass and toast to good health as they say in France, “Sante.”
Quintessential Wines is the exclusive import, marketing and sales company for Les Vins Georges Duboeuf. Quintessential Wines works directly with top-quality, family owned wineries around the world.
Top photo: Georges (right) and son, Franck Duboeuf
Credit: Courtesy of Les Vins Georges Duboeuf