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Beaujolais winemakers protest over low prices

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 Decanter.com, ‘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.

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