Every November, the opening of Beaujolais Nouveau marks the arrival of a new season in France. It is normally an occasion for celebration. This year, with the closure of restaurants, exports are down and sales have been stifled.
But with centuries of experience behind them, some French vineyards have reason to feel hopeful.
Pandemics and conflicts are not unfamiliar to Maison Loron. The story of this dynasty started more than 300 years ago. Their expert knowledge extends over several dozen hectares, chateaux and estates. And around half of their wines are exported abroad.
Philippe Bardet took over the company four years ago. Some markets were already challenging before this crisis. But with the pandemic, the market is facing an even greater turmoil:
“It's complicated this year. We made good wine, but it's not so easy to sell it. The Japanese market is a big one for us. This market has already been slowly falling, but this year it's really not doing well. So in Japan, as in the United States and in England, the absence of celebrations for the arrival of Beaujolais Nouveau will penalize us because these types of reunions have become a strong custom."
A 25% drop in sales is expected this year. But winegrowers intend to limit that fall, with consumer purchases for home and for take-away sales in restaurants.
Watch Euronews's report in the player above.