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by Fred McMillin
for September 25, 1998

 

Winery of the Week

Duboeuf Beaujolais Leads the Way


Prologue

Georges Duboeuf sales:
1963—0 bottles per year
1993—25 million bottles per year

...S.F. Independent Newspaper

Georges Duboeuf buys his wines from hundreds of small producers in the Beaujolais region. His success in the United States and worldwide is incontestibie.

...New York Times

"I am, first and foremost, a man of wine tasting. I taste two or three hours a day."

...Georges Duboeuf


The Rest of the Story

G. DuboeufDuboeufs were making wine four centuries ago. Born in southern Burgundy, Georges was true to his legacy. At age 16 he was already "dreaming of how Beaujolais could be made better. The small producers could be encouraged to play a more substantial role in improving the wine."(1) It worked. Here are a few of the major events along the way.

l957—Georges goes to Paris to develop a market for his wines. He meets a rising chef who will become one of his first customers, Paul Bocuse.

1964—First wines produced under his label.

c. 1980—Georges comes up with the idea of symbolizing the floral aromas of Beaujolais by adorning his labels with bright flowers.

1981—The first Duboeuf wines reach the U.S.A.

1993—Duboeuf sales worldwide exceed $100 million. U.S.A. does its part. The annual November release of Duboeuf Nouveau (new) Beaujolais alone includes rushing nearly two million bottles to America.

1998—All of this has been done while holding prices remarkably low. For example, the current, 1997 release of Cru (highest category) Regnie (ray-nyay) is under $8. At a San Francisco tasting led by Georges himself, it was selected as an outstanding bargain. My wife's notes from her years of James Beard cooking lessons show he served a similar Beaujolais with an oxtail ragout. To learn more about the "King of Beaujolais" wines, contact the office of Yale Sager at (847) 679-0121.


Postscript

Robert Parker, Jr., prominent American wine critic, in recognition of Georges' ability to keep prices down, suggests that instead of King of Beaujolais he should be known as "The Master of Purse Pleasing Pleasure." That's gorgeous, Georges!

(1) From the Wine Enthusiast.


About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College and is Northern California Editor for American Wine on the Web. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.

 

 


WineDay Annex

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