The annual Beaujolais Nouveau season is usually ripe with PR and well charged with hyperbole as the least of France’s famous wines makes its global flash, but this year storms, hail and generally dismal weather washed away some of the glitter and most of the usual froth. Instead, the president of the Beaujolais grower’s organisation was forced to admit it was the worst season ever.
“This year we have had everything: frost, hail, disease and mildew,” Daniel Bulliat says. “I am 55 years old and I had never seen such a scenario.”
Average yields from Beaujolais’ vineyards this year were less than half what is expected in an average year, and almost no top wines were made in the cru at all. As a result 800 growers have registered with the government for financial relief, and as many as 300 could be forced out of the industry.