In 2013 the Co-operative of Julienas and Macon-Chaintré united to form one company providing wine making facilities for 169 winegrowers from across Southern Burgundy.
Caves De Julienas Chaintre Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau `Coeur Pourpre` 2022
As far back as the 1800s, Beaujolais growers would gather to celebrate the end of the harvest by toasting the vintage with some of the young wine produced that year. (This is part of the French tradition of vin de primeur, or “early wines” released in the same year as harvest, which 55 appellations in France are allowed to produce.) During this time, Lyonnais barkeepers and restaurateurs had been in the habit of buying barrels of this new Beaujolais wine, that had been pressed in September and ready to serve in November. The new wine was served via pitchers dipped into barrels; the barrels were sometimes transported simply by floating them down the Saône river., Once the Beaujolais AOC was established in 1937, AOC rules meant that Beaujolais wine could only be officially sold after 15 December in the year of harvest. These rules were relaxed in November 1951, and the Union Interprofessionnelle des Vins du Beaujolais (UIVB) formally set 15 November as the release date for what would henceforth be known as Beaujolais nouveau. In 1985 the Institut National des Appellations d’Origine (INAO) established the third Thursday of November to allow for a uniform release date for the wine.
The wine used to be released from France at 12:01 on the third Thursday of November. During the 2000’s the release rules started to relax, with the wines shipped ahead of time, and released to local markets at 12:01 a.m. local time. Starting in the 2010’s, it started to be sent to retailers ahead of the third Thursday, with instruction not to sell it until the third Thursday.
Some members of the UIVB saw the potential for marketing Beaujolais nouveau by capitalising on fast distribution of the vintage, starting with a race to get the first bottles to Paris. In the 1960s, races from English clubs rewarded the drivers who returned the quickest with the most wine (sometimes resulting in spare tyres being left in Beaujolais). There continued to be more media coverage, and by the 1970s it had become a national event. The races spread to neighbouring countries in Europe in the 1980s, followed by North America, and in the 1990s to Asia. In 1985, the date was changed to the third Thursday in November to take best advantage of marketing in the following weekend.
Up to 1972, New York was the only US city to import Beaujolais nouveau. In 1972, Minneapolis became the second US city to import it; now, it is available in most US metropolis areas, and in many large cities across the globe.