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Nov 24

Beaujolais Nouveau Went Green

It’s a start.

Every year, Beaujolais Nouveau is rushed across the pond by air to make it to the US by Nov 20. It’s not my favorite wine, and some of it (not all) is swill. So it’s a lot of trouble, and apparently a huge carbon footprint, to get some not-very-awesome wine out by a certain date.

This year, the two largest Beaujolais producers acknowledged their anti-green ways and decided to make some changes. I know it doesn’t fix past transgressions, but I appreciate the changes they are making. It’s a positive sign for the future.

Boisset, the second-largest maker of Beaujolais Nouveau, is bottling
its entire harvest in PET bottles that are "absolutely recyclable,"
said Patrick Egan, a spokesman for Boisset America.

But not all of its Beaujolais Nouveau is coming in glass bottles.
Bowing to the wishes of Whole Foods, the large U.S. organic foods
supermarket chain, they have joined Boisset in offering the breezy,
young wine made from Gamay grapes in plastic bottles as well. Whole
Foods will be offering both Duboeuf and Boisset.

The PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles, much like those used
for soft drinks, weigh nearly 50 percent less than glass, Egan said, so
shipping costs are lower.

Will plastic bottles hurt the wine? No, and the wine will supposedly keep for up to three years.

Georges Duboeuf has switched from air shipment to sea shipment,
which is how we receive almost all of our wine from Europe anyway. 

…Georges Duboeuf, the largest maker of Beaujolais Nouveau,
struck a deal with the French government to allow an early release of
his wine so that he could use ships to haul about 75 percent of his 2
million U.S.-bound bottles, instead of the one-third that usually
arrives by boat.

"It significantly changes the (carbon) footprint and it keeps the
cost level down to the consumer, as well as keeping it in that $10-$12
range," explained Barbara Scalera, a spokeswoman for Duboeuf’s U.S.
agent W. J. Deutsch & Sons.

They’ve taken it one step further. I find this funny and of course,
a publicity stunt, but the Georges Duboeuf wines that arrive at the
docks in New York and Miami will be transported to local restaurants
by, um, motorcycle, also reducing their carbon footprint. Apparently
several NYC and Miami chefs are motorcycle afficianados and will be
picking up their own wine.

Don’t forget. Not all Beaujolais is Beaujolais Nouveau. Cru Beaujolais offers some excellent wine, including one suggested by Jesse in today’s Virtual Thanksgiving post, and another recommended by BestDrinkEver. We even had an excellent Beaujolais at the Krystal Pepper Memorial Scholarship wine tasting event.

Quotes from Reuters

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Posted by Michelle at 8:02 am in News | Permalink | Comments (2)

2 Responses to “Beaujolais Nouveau Went Green”

  1. valereee says:

    Wow, two great steps! I am very impressed that the French, not known for their flexibility when it comes to food and wine tradition, were willing to make this change and allow wine to ship early.
    Val

  2. [...] recent years, Beaujolais producers have really been trying to curb their environmental impact. More and more producers are using environmentally friendly PET bottles, [...]

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