Yesterday was the Beaujolais Nouveau Festival, and traditionally, winemakers around the world take the opportunity to promote it in a big way. But this year's New Wine Festival may not be a happy one for either the winemakers, distributors or the countless promoters of new wines.
Image courtesy of: Franceinfo website
A second outbreak of the epidemic in Europe this year has sent the Beaujolais Nouveau wine market into a steep decline. According to French media reports, the closed quarantine has taken its toll on Beaujolais, especially the closure of bars and restaurants, both of which account for 20 percent of sales.
This was supposed to be a different year for the producers of the Beaujolais appellation due to the very good sunny conditions. The new wines from Beaujolais were scheduled to be released on the evening of November 19, however the epidemic is affecting sales plans. We are not selling to restaurants this year, consumers won"t go there. It's also difficult for us to do mass distribution," says Eric Bettant, winemaker at Pommiers in Rhône.
It is estimated that all Beaujolais wines are expected to end the year with a 25 percent drop in sales, with exports contributing to the increased loss of sales. Not only affected by the epidemic, winemaker Emmanuel Fellot detailed the Trump tax (retaliatory tariffs imposed by the United States on French wines). We hope it will be reduced or stopped. With this tax expense, Beaujolais is losing money on sales in the U.S. for the year, he said. November and December are key to sales, he said, and these two months account for 40 percent of Beaujolais sales. Fortunately, Beaujolais is producing more structured wines than ever in 2020, and some growers plan to keep some of them to sell later as aged wines.