Beaujolais Nouveau goes "green"

Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:31am EDT
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By Leslie Gevirtz

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - A fleet of cargo ships is set to invade U.S. ports from Boston to Miami next month, laden with millions of bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau.

At about the same time, cargo planes carrying 30,000 cases of the first wine of the 2008 harvest in plastic bottles will also be heading toward North America.

The two biggest producers of Beaujolais Nouveau are going green by transporting their wine by sea rather than air or packaging the vintage in environmentally friendly bottles.

Boisset, the second-largest maker of Beaujolais Nouveau, is bottling its entire harvest in PET bottles that are "absolutely recyclable," said Patrick Egan, a spokesman for Boisset America.

The green shipment is due to arrive in time for the wine's traditional third Thursday in November release.

Meanwhile, Georges Duboeuf, the largest maker of Beaujolais Nouveau, struck a deal with the French government to allow an early release of his wine so that he could use ships to haul about 75 percent of his 2 million U.S.-bound bottles, instead of the one-third that usually arrives by boat.

"It significantly changes the (carbon) footprint and it keeps the cost level down to the consumer, as well as keeping it in that $10-$12 range," explained Barbara Scalera, a spokeswoman for Duboeuf's U.S. agent W. J. Deutsch & Sons.


<p>A glass of Beaujolais Nouveau wine, in this November 7, 2003 photo. REUTERS/Robert Pratta PP03110067</p>