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Beaujolais Producers, Georges Duboeuf

Most Beaujolais is made and sold

Beaujolais Nouveau Statistics

In 2002 , over 11 million bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau was sold in France. 2.3 million bottles were sold in the Paris region alone.

Beaujolais Nouveau: History Behind the Third Thursday in November

At one past midnight on the third Thursday of each November, from little villages and towns like Romanèche-Thorins, over a million cases of Beaujolais Nouveau begin their journey through a sleeping France to Paris for immediate shipment to all parts of the world. Banners proclaim the good news: Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé! "The New Beaujolais has arrived!" One of the most frivolous and animated rituals in the wine world has begun.

By the time it is over, over 65 million bottles, nearly half of the region's total annual production, will be distributed and drunk around the world. It has become a worldwide race to be the first to serve to this new wine of the harvest. In doing so, it has been carried by motorcycle, balloon, truck, helicopter, Concorde jet, elephant, runners and rickshaws to get it to its final destination. It is amazing to realize that just weeks before this wine was a cluster of grapes in a growers vineyard. But by an expeditious harvest, a rapid fermentation, and a speedy bottling, all is ready at the midnight hour. By French law, Beaujolais Nouveau is to be released no earlier than the third Thursday of November.

Beaujolais, French Wine Region, History of the Grape

As Caesar's army crossed the Alps and into Gaul in the 1st century B.C., they built temples, aqueducts, amphitheatres and roads. Along those roads, Rome's army planted the vine. There is still evidence today in Brouilly and Morgon of those Roman vineyards. After Rome left, the area was invaded by the Barbarians and then the Arabs who also tended the vines and enjoyed the fruits thereof. Founded in the 10th century by the powerful nobility that created the principality, the town of Beaujeu in the western hills of Beaujolais, gives the region its name. It was ruled by the Dukes of Beaujeu until it was ceded to the Bourbonnais in 1400.

Fortified Wines

Born of the need to protect wines on long sea voyages, fortified wines were created. As trade expanded in the 16th and 17th Centuries to finally encompass the whole globe, many of the wines from Europe became spoiled on their long journeys across the oceans. To counteract this problem, wine makers took up the practice of adding measures of brandy to stabilize the wine.

Serving & Storing Port

More myths and traditions have developed around the drinking and enjoyment of port than probably any other wine. Perhaps this comes from the tradition-loving British that developed it. The most widely-known tradition is that of passing the port. British naval officers meticulously passed the port from "port to port", that is clockwise. Traditionally, the decanter of port is placed in front of the host who then serves the guest to his right and then passes the decanter to the guest on his left. The port is then passed to the left all the way back to the host.

Find Bargains on Vintage Port

Port Wine Producer Profiles

The Port trade is dominated by its shippers. Although other nations are represented, they are traditionally known as British or Portuguese shippers.

Port Wine: Portugal's Douro Valley, Making Port Wine & the History of Port

Port is a fortified wine from the remote vineyards in Portugal's Douro Valley. Here, in the Douro Valley, time has almost stood still. You will not find the latest wine making techniques and fancy equipment. Instead, you will find a wine industry much the way it was over a hundred years ago. Yet, in spite of it, or because of it, vintage Port is one of the world's greatest wines.

Port takes its name from the city of Oporto that is situated at the mouth of the 560-mile long Rio Douro or River of Gold. Although many port-style wines are made around the world – most notably Australia, South Africa and the United States – the strict usage of the terms Port or Porto refer only to wines produced in Portugal. It is these wines that we will explore here.

Exploring Madeira: Producers & Firms

Wine is a way of life in Madeira. Wine is made all over the island and it is considered rude not to accept a glass or an invitation to see where it is made. Madeira though often over looked, is one of the three great fortified wines of the world – the other two being Port and Sherry. Like Port, the original Madeira wines were not fortified but only became that way in order that they might better survive long sea transportation. It wasn't until the middle of the eighteenth century when British merchants on the island, began to add distilled spirits, made from sugar cane, to preserve it on its long voyage to the Americas. But at this point, the two wines differ. Unlike Port that enjoys peace and quiet as it matures, Madeira improves the more it is mistreated. This was not always known. It was discovered one day, when a shipment returned unsold after an arduous journey at sea. From that time forth, Madeira has always been heated to achieve its special qualities.

Madeira Wine: History of Madeira, Port of Funchal, & the Madeira Island Region

Madeira, named after the island it is made on, is like no other wine in the world. Perhaps no greater dedication has gone into the making of a fine wine, than that which has gone into the making of Madeira. Its success owes a lot to the primitive shipping conditions of the seventeenth century.

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