When Aurélien Duboeuf pops the first bottle of Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau at midnight November 16th, this year’s holiday festivities will be underway. Grandson of Georges Duboeuf and manager of the estate Duboeuf vineyards, Aurélien will be touring New England with bottle signings of Beaujolais Nouveau ($15 a 750-ml.; $16 for the Rosé), beginning at the famed Pot au Feu restaurant in Providence, Rhode Island, and continuing to Massachusetts beverage alcohol retailers Yankee Spirits in Attleboro and Norwood, Gary’s Liquors in Boston, and Market Basket in Waltham.
“We’re launching a new campaign for Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau this year with the platform ‘It Never Gets Old’—a cheeky play-on-words as it’s the first wine of the vintage, it’s meant to be drunk young, and the world continues to joyfully celebrate Nouveau Day,” says Dennis Kreps, co-owner of Napa, California-based Quintessential, which imports Duboeuf. “We’ve developed exciting new creative assets as the campaign is heavily in the digital space. Our goal is to welcome Gen Z and younger millennials into the wine fold through Nouveau in a playful, fun, and unpretentious way.”
Aurélien Duboeuf will also meet with Ludivine Wolczik, executive director of French American Chamber of Commerce (FACC), which has Nouveau celebrations planned for several cities nationwide. In Orlando, Florida, the Disney’s Chefs de France at the Epcot Center will host a grand Nouveau party all day on the 16th with Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau poured at the restaurant and kiosks outside, where wines will be paired with small bites.
This year’s Beaujolais harvest increased 20% in volume compared with 2022, and the quality is considered good. “The weather oscillated between cool, rainy spells and hot, dry periods,” Kreps says. “However, every key stage in the vines’ development was ideal, and the grapes reached perfect ripeness by September 1st, when harvest began.”
Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau Orange (SRP $16 a 750-ml.) has also been added to this year’s lineup. “We have extremely limited quantities this year that sold out in presale almost immediately in the New York market,” Kreps says. “We’re thrilled by the response and hope to continue building upon this success for next year.”
In all, more than 10,000 retailers coast to coast will be selling Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau with sales typically peaking in New York, Florida, California, New Jersey, and Texas. “Given the core target audience and inherently social aspect of this wine, the campaign focuses on the digital community through Instagram collaborations,” Kreps says. “With the themes of ‘Like Good Friends, Beaujolais Nouveau Never Gets Old’ and ‘Classic Combinations,’ influencers will incorporate the ‘It Never Gets Old’ campaign in a way authentic to them.”
Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau’s 2023 arrival is a highly anticipated event with retailers and restaurants receiving festive point-of-sale items, such as branded bags, ties, scarves, posters, case cards, and window decals to elevate their Nouveau celebrations. The “It Never Gets Old” campaign is supported by digital activations like newsletters, websites, email, and social media. Consumers can also share in the Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau celebration by entering Quintessential’s annual “Cork Contest” for a chance to win 20 prizes on Firstwineoftheharvest.com. The grand prize this year is a Marshall Stanmore III Speaker, valued at $500.
Beverage alcohol retailers on the West Coast are also gearing up for the Beaujolais Nouveau celebration. In Los Angeles, The Wine House usually carries between 12 to 15 selections. Top sellers historically include Domaine de la Cadette Beaujolais Nouveau ($24 a 750-ml.), Damien Dupeuble Beaujolais Nouveau ($20), Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau ($17), and Joseph Drouhin Beaujolais Nouveau ($19). “There is still a little buzz for the wines,” says Glen Knight, owner. “But it has simmered some since its heyday of the late 1990s and early 2000s.”
The Wine House has its annual Thanksgiving wine tasting after the wines arrive, and email blasts tie in with the turkey-to-go-meals from its restaurant, Wine House Kitchen. “We had a bit of great news earlier in the month with the Writers Guild of America strike ending, and we are hoping the SAG strike ends very soon. We will see shortly if things will pick up.”
The beverage alcohol industry supply chain appears to be meeting demand, and Knight is optimistic about strong sales through year end. “All signs from our importers show the wines arriving in time,” Knight says. “The last two weeks before Halloween had a good uptick, and we are optimistic things will continue to be grow through New Year’s Eve.”
Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau wines performed well in 2022, up 23% in revenue, and Kreps predicts similar growth for this year. “We continue to engage retailers, restaurateurs, and consumers with grassroots outreach and authentic messaging that resonates,” he says. “With the ‘It Never Gets Old’ campaign, we’ll engage a whole new demographic of younger consumers that are new to Nouveau or even the wine category in general. We are confident we’ll see the same increases for this year and beyond.”