Hundreds of Beaujolais winemakers have marched through the streets of Villefranche-sur-Saône to call for higher prices for Beaujolais Nouveau.

Many negociants, who buy the wine in bulk for resale under their own labels, have offered just €180 per hectolitre of Beaujolais Nouveau, according to those at the Beaujolais winemakers protest. Around 500 producers took to the streets on 25 September.

Between 2011 and 2012, prices increased from €162.68 to €221.54, due to winter frost, before dropping to €217.95 last year.

‘A decrease to €180 for a great vintage like 2015 is absurd,’ Landry Collonge, of Domaine André Collonge et Fils told, ‘especially since the 2015 yields are 15% to 20% down due to the drought.’

At this price, ‘we will make no profit; we demand a revaluation in order to sustain our business and our family,’ he added.

In ten years, sales of Beaujolais Nouveau have fallen twice, reflecting a structural rather than an economic problem in the region.

The price per hectare ranges from €11,000 against €90,000 for the same area in the Moulin-à-Vent appellation, and ‘the power of the négociants is increasingly important and does not allow us to compete and to have strength in negotiating,’ concluded Landry Collonge.

Bulk wines represent 85% of the volume of each vintage produced in Beaujolais and Beaujolais Nouveau, and two major players, Georges Duboeuf and Boisset, share the market with some co-operatives.

  • jonas brave

    Agreed. Where I am (Toronto) the Nouveau is hovering at near-Cru de Beauj prices, or pretty much what Villages sell for. I understand a trend can be fun (Thanks, Georges du Boeuf) but the Beauj Nouveau prices have gotten too serious and there are now too many wine-alikes from other countries competing for the Nouveau party each year.

    Beaujolais created its own identity crisis and diluted the branding of its better wines with this comparatively trivial product. I sincerely wish ’em luck.

  • Brian

    I’ve been offered Nouveau (minimum 3 cases) that would put it at £9.95 ‘on the shelf’ retail. For just £1 more I can offer a village wine with a bit of age and a lot of body! As Dave says ” do we really need Nouveau anymore”. No! I say and have said for several years.

  • Dave

    Do we really need Beaujolais nouveau anymore? Perhaps it should go the way of the do-do any growers can concentrate on making better wine overall.