PHOTO BY WILLIAM M. DOWD
Attention Beaujolais Nouveau revelers. Your infant wine will be a bit older this year.
The earlier harvesting of grapes in many parts of Europe, caused by unseasonable weather, is having a variety of effects on winemaking. In the case of Beaujolais Nouveau, the usual harvest begins around the start September. This year it already has begun, two weeks earlier. That, however, isn't expected to change the release date of the nouveau, traditionally the third Thursday of November -- the 15th, this year. That also is a time many fundraisers using the new wine are held around the world.
"It's the fifth time in my life that we have seen such a phenomenon. It's a bit exceptional," said Georges Duboeuf, head of one of the Burgundy region's biggest vineyards. He said the previous years were 1947, 1976, 2000 and 2003.
Duboef said the earlier harvest won't affect the quality of the new wine.
"For Beaujolais Nouveau, like many wines, if it's good at the start, it will be good at the end. It's not because the harvest is earlier that the wine will be more rounded or structured, or the taste will be different," he said. "Each vintage has its own characteristics."
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