This is a first in the history of Beaujolais. For the first time, Covid-19 obliges, the launch of Beaujolais Nouveau, traditionally organized on the third Thursday in November, will be without festivities. No party in the wine-growers’ cellars, no party in Lyon’s corks or in the town squares, no more in Parisian brasseries, nothing in the United States or Japan either, yet the first importer of the most famous primeur in the world.
However, there is no question of being defeated. Are the Beaujol’en Scène festivities set up each year in a marquee in Lyon (Rhône) by young operators prohibited this year? They start “click & collect” and prepare for customers baskets of local products with bottles of early vegetables to come and collect from distribution points opened in haste. “But we lack the orders and the evenings organized by the works councils”, regrets Cécile Nove-Josserand, of the Association of young farmers of the Rhône.
A magnificent vintage
In Rivolet, in the South of Beaujolais, Emmanuel and Nadège Fellot also prepare their orders. “This year, Beaujolais Nouveau will be delivered without tasting, it is the first time in thirty years of career”, notes Emmanuel. If individuals are at the rendezvous, he notes that orders from restaurants and bars are lacking this year and that exports are also slowing down. “And it’s a shame because 2020 is really a great vintage, we harvested early, the tannins are concentrated, it is a wine that we can keep. “
“It’s a magnificent vintage, with soft tannins, it’s a joyful confinement wine,” confirms Dominique Piron, winegrower in Villié-Morgon and president of the inter-professional of Beaujolais wines, but there will be no event. in France, nor abroad, everything is canceled. So we try to compensate with social media campaigns to encourage people to go to their wine merchants and taste at home. Beaujolais must remain a joyous event. “
A decrease in sales between 25 and 30%
Antoine Dengis, young owner of the three Vins nature cellars in Lyon and a great lover of Beaujolais, has not reduced his orders for futures. “I even took a little more this year”, he confides, while preparing his boxes, “600 bottles, not counting magnums and jeroboam, the customers are there.”
Containment requires, the vineyard is still expecting a significant drop in sales this year. “Between 25 and 30%, estimates Dominique Piron. A fall in orders in France, but also in exports. »Exports also penalized by increases in the price of air freight. This situation risks, in any case, penalizing certain producers. “For wine growers who were already in a difficult situation, it could be the straw that broke the camel’s back, he fears. There will be cessations of activity among the most vulnerable, that’s for sure. “