How to relax in the fall in a fun and interesting way at a young wine festival

Beaujolais Nouveau 2022 – a celebration of young wine

Remember what every third Thursday in November is famous for? That’s right – the Beaujolais-Nouveau Festival, a young wine that ripens just in time for the end of fall!

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For some, wine is the drink of the gods, others see in it their perdition, and others simply enjoy it on holidays. It is used in many rituals, in moderate quantities wine is able to have a beneficial effect on the body and lift your spirits. In urgent cases, wine is used to disinfect wounds. But nowhere is the new grape harvest more celebrated than in Burgundy. After all, on the third Thursday of November since 1951 they have celebrated Beaujolais Day.

From the history of wine

It is a well-known fact that for a long time wine in France was considered bad taste. It could not be served at the table of the monarchs. However, in ancient Greece, without this drink no celebration could take place. It was common to dilute strong wines with water. In the Middle Ages in Europe simple water was drunk only by the poor. This was connected with its purity: wine disinfected water. The higher was their percentage, the richer was considered a person. Grape drink in undiluted form was served only during the holidays.

How did the Beaujolais Nouveau festival come about?

Young Wine Festival in Burgundy, France

Hmmm… do you like this festival of young wine in Burgundy yet?

Initially, the celebration was purely commercial in nature. Burgundian winemakers managed to turn the disadvantages of young wine into its virtues. What are the disadvantages, turned into advantages, of Beaujolais Nouveau, the main element of this celebration? The grape variety “black gamet” ripens very quickly, but at the same time it cannot be stored for a long time. That’s why Beaujolais can’t be aged for many years, that’s its peculiarity. But it is loved because the young wine has a light flavor and delicate aroma.

From 1951 to 1985 the celebration of the Day of Young Wine was held on the 15th. After that, it was shifted slightly so that everyone in the country could wait for their harvest.

The celebration of young wine – traditions

Vineyards of the Beaujolais region of France Bottles of young wine are sent around the world The Beaujolais Nouveau Festival is officially open!

The place where the festival begins is called Beaujolais. It’s a small town in France where barrels of wine are placed in the main square. In the evening the local winemakers come out with torches in their hands, and at midnight the barrels are opened and glasses are put under the streams of young wine. And so begins the Feast of Beaujolais in France. The French have another tradition on this day. They visit several bars and drink a glass of young wine in each. After 5 or 6 “laps” the gait slows down and the mood quickly flies upwards. The peculiarity of Beaujolais is that it can be drunk both in the morning and in the evening. But young wine is not for everyone’s taste and status. By and large in France it has not even acquired the status of a full-fledged wine – it is a cheerful “drink”, raising the spirits for the duration of the festival.

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Beaujolais is often contemptuously compared to “lemonade” – with a taste of banana and caramel. Is it really so? Only you can answer this question when you try it.

Beaujolais Nouveau – International Feast

A few days before the holiday, bottles of the young wine are shipped to various countries. The winemakers are trying to be in time for the big day, as this holiday is loved not only by the French.

What dishes are served with Beaujolais Nouveau

Traditionally, Beaujolais Nouveau is served with fatty Beaujarne soup of goose meat and cabbage, poached eggs, scrambled eggs, goose liver pate and oxtail soup.

How to get to the Beaujolais Festival 2022

Teize village in the Beaujolais region (France) Famous Beaujolais Nouveau vineyards

There’s no need to buy special tours to go to the Beaujolais-Nouveau festival. It is national and in 2022 will be celebrated all over the country, so you can appreciate the taste and aroma of the young drink in Paris and Nice. But to visit at this time its homeland – Beaujolais – is very interesting. Every year, before the opening of the holiday, the region hosts a parade of winemakers with torches. All 3 days of the celebration on the square is a circus marquee and plays pleasant music.

How to get to Beaujolais

It is easier to get there from Lyon. The city has an airport, so there are no problems with the flight from Paris (as well as Moscow and other cities). There are about thirty trains a day from Lyon to Beaujolais.

Excursions in Paris for the best prices

Unusual, creative itineraries designed by locals. They know and love the city and will tell you what to spend time on and how to save money on your trip. All tours are conducted in Russian.

Discovering a new national holiday, the traveler learns the culture of the people, its assets and values. The festival of young wine shows the openness of the French, their ability to enjoy life. It is a great excuse to give each other a hug and a smile.

Young Green. Young Wine Festivals

With empty vineyards, autumn is sweeter to greet. A bottling of Beaujolais, Novello and Federweisser generates a map of current travel destinations: after all, to keep the product from losing flavor and aroma, you have to drink it immediately. Young wine festivals begin in Europe in September, so now is the time to pack your suitcase and remember which cheese is appropriate (spoiler: Camembert or Brie).

Autumn has been, from ancient times, an X-hour for winemakers. With a glass of barely fermented wine plantation owners decided whether to cooperate with the producer in the coming year. The main wine date in the calendar even today is November 11, the Day of St. Martin, who became Dionysus of Christian bottling. Then, over dinner with the obligatory roast goose and a fresh drink, a kind of birthday of the first wine of the year is celebrated. And in each country it gets a special name: federweisser in Germany, Sturm in Austria, and burczak in the Czech Republic. The tradition of celebration is so old and enduring that it has inherited European folklore, from the Italian proverb “On St. Martin, open the barrel and taste the wine” to the common Croatian “St. Martin, pierce the barrel!” Today, grape harvesting and festivals begin in September, and by late fall, cellars across the continent are eagerly opening their doors for satisfied tasters to crawl back up their brow.

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What is a young wine?

The differences start with the type of grapes: as a rule, perishable grapes are used for a young wine without any remorse. Such is the history, for example, of the most famous of them all, the dry Beaujolais wine. The essential difference is concentrated in the technology: for fresh wine the fruit is not crushed, but left to ferment hermetically sealed in plenty of carbon for a short time. Voila! Maximum flavor and color in minimum time. True, because of the alcohol and polyphenols, you have to drink it within a year.

Young wine is considered almost a panacea. Connoisseurs willingly believe that it clears the blood vessels of cholesterol, removes toxins, increases the appetite, and even takes care of the prevention of colds. But it can do harm only to those who are allergic or have liver problems.

How to drink it?

Young wine does not keep for a long time. You need to protect it from aging in the first 6-12 months after production. Pay attention to the dates: the deadline for bottling is December 31 of the year the grapes were harvested. It’s not so much the quality or the bouquet, but the ritual itself that counts in this drink. Taste it chilled to 13°C. Complement the sacred experience with a cheese or meat platter.

France: Beaujolais Nouveau Holidays.

The third Thursday of November in France is Beaujolais nouveau Day, La Fete de Beaujolais nouveau. At first, the holiday was a commercial ploy (from this day the wine went on sale en masse), but it caught on so well that it soon became a tradition. Shortly before the holiday, posters appeared in the cities: “Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrive?” (Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrive?!). The festivities itself begin at midnight, with fireworks going off in the markets and fresh wine poured from the barrels set up in the squares in advance. The most raucous action takes place in Burgundy, because there, on plantations north of Lyon, red Gamay grapes are grown for Beaujolais.

Beaujolais spoils quickly, but that’s not its problem, it’s yours. French winemakers Jules Chauvet and Georges Dubef, in order to sell out the drink in time, formulated its concept as “Since the wine doesn’t keep, you have to drink it immediately!”

Beaujolais spoils quickly, but that’s not its problem, it’s yours: since the wine doesn’t keep, you have to drink it immediately!

In the Beaujolais region alone, there are 120 celebrations of young wine in the fall. France is not stingy with celebrations in other provinces: no less fun is guaranteed on the banks of the Loire and the Rhone, in Touraine, Gaillac, Côte-du-Rhone or Languedoc. The most colorful festival is Le Sarmantelles (Les sarmentelles – “shoots of the vine”) in the city of Beaujolais. Tourists and lovers of Beaujolais Nouveau are treated to a solemn procession with music and torches from the vineyards to the central square. The excitement awakens the visitors by morning. The winner of the contest, who drinks the most Beaujolais, is promised as much wine as he or she weighs. Even if you abstain from competitions, the fireworks, free tasting and cheers of “Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrive!

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The holiday has gained such popularity that it has migrated to the neighboring continent, just as the French grapevine once moved there. For about half a century, Beaujolais Nouveau Day has been celebrated annually in the United States (in Los Angeles, Newston, Seattle and Charlotte), tasting both Californian young wine and imported Beaujolais Nouveau straight from the Old World.

Italy: Novello Holidays

In late October and early November, from the north to the south of Italy, novello, the local young wine, is on everyone’s lips. Unlike the French, it has a bright red hue due to the large amount of carbon dioxide. Whereas Beaujolais is made with a single grape variety, Gamay, Italian vineyards are full of variety: a dozen other grape variations are produced alongside popular Merlot, Cabernet and Sauvignon. The only condition is that the berries must be red.

Novello is two weeks ahead of Beaujolais, thanks to the milder climate of the Apennines. But the celebration scheme is the same: festivals with music, dancing, competitions, festivities and tastings of the “newborn” wine cover an impressive territory. By early November, wineries in Tuscany, Piedmont, Veneto, Marche and Sicily and Sardinia are eager to welcome wine tourists (i.e. wine tourists).

Celebrations of the grape harvest, with masquerades and traditional donkey races, flourished in Italy as early as the 17th century. The modern version of the celebration got its start only half a century ago. Now the wine season still opens on St. Martin’s Day, but not on November 11 but on November 6. Salone Nazional edel vino nouvello in Vicenza starts the pleiad of tastings: the first day is for professionals and then the novello can be tasted by all those wishing. Earlier than in other regions, Vicenza celebrates Novello in piazza (Novello in piazza), where grapes can even be crushed. And in the fairgrounds, between the artisan shops and street performers, you’ll find not just a novello, but even a roast on a giant spit.

At the end of October, from the north to the south of Italy, novello, the local young wine, is on everyone’s lips.

Under the patronage of the Movimento Turismo del Vino ( Movimento Turismo del Vino ), Italy celebrates St. Martin’s Day in the wine cellar every year. For this wine and gastronomic event, 200 wine cellars in different regions of the country invite you to taste novellas with the local products harvested in the new season.

In addition to major festivities honoring fresh wine, there are a dozen colorful local events. In the Tuscan town of Vignanello, such a festival grows to the scale of a medieval fair. The Festa del vino e dell’olio novello (Festa del vino e dell’olio novello) does not leave without bread and spectacle: traditional food and drink are accompanied by historical reconstructions and entertainment in the spirit of jugglers and fire swallowers. Every Saturday in Emilia-Romagna, from late October until the onset of winter, winemakers welcome guests, treat them and tell wine stories. And on Sundays, as part of the same event “Vignaioli in Enoteca e Banchi di Assaggio” (Vignaioli in Enoteca and Tasting in the Stalls), there are wine tastings, comparing different vintages and making methods.

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In the first week of November, the Festa del Novello is held in the Piazza Port in Bardolino: an important winemaking event in these lands, because the Bardolino Novello was the first young wine to receive the DOC certificate (Denomiazione di origine controllata – Denomination Controlled by Origin). The atmosphere is different in Puglia, where in November the annual three-day festival in honor of the first wine of the new harvest – Novello in Festa (Novello in Festa) . Everywhere you look on the map, Italy becomes an oenoteca.

Spain: Vendimia and Wine Nuevo festivals

Wine nuevo (Vino nuevo), a young wine, doesn’t make as much of a stir in Spain as in neighboring countries. Locals are more enthusiastic about sipping mature wines matured in oak barrels. But the fashion for young wine has not gone away, and demand has created supply: since the end of 90s Spain has also been involved in the wine arms race.

Since the late 90s of the last century, Spain has also been drawn into the wine arms race.

Grape harvest festivals, vendimia, begin in September. And especially noteworthy in Andalusia, where the fresh wine is called “mosto”. Vendimia in Montilla and Jerez de la Frontera are on the calendar, and the Royal Vendimia in Palma del Condado crowns it all.

When the young wine is ready to be poured into glasses, the Spaniards don’t have the lavish festivities that greet beaujolais or novellos. The locals prefer to sit quietly with a piece of freshly roasted ham. If you want to see it happen, head to Málaga or Colmenar in November for a fair of mosto and chacina – young wine and blood sausage. Taste only in an authentic tandem!

Germany: Federweisser Festivals

On the beverage side, there’s something else worth drinking in Germany besides beer. The local vineyards exceed expectations in both scenic beauty and yield. By the Rhine or, for example, by the river Ar, the tradition of winemaking is so ingrained in German daily life that it has become a way of life.

The young wine in Germany is called Federweißer, meaning “white feathers,” reminiscent of the whitish residue of yeast particles. Technically, this substance is grape must, which has begun to ferment, but has not yet become a finished drink. You can only taste Federweiser in the fall, in September or October, depending on the region. Don’t let the cloudy liquid embarrass the taster: everything is under control, as it is a fresh wine. You’ll also find nuances in the color scheme: in addition to red berries Germans also use white ones.

In many German cities there are stalls and roadside taverns that sell young wine in the autumn. In addition to the prosaic tasting of the purchased fègères, you can also have a drink at the vineyard fairs to celebrate the new harvest season. For big wine festivals, head for the German Grape Harvest in Neustadt an der Weinstraße or the Autumn Festival in Rüdesheimer Herbstschluss in Rheingau. The latter is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which promises a special atmosphere at this wine festival. For refined local originality head for the winemaking village Mayschoß in the Ar valley. Its population is barely over a thousand, but the local wine festival, which takes over the whole October weekend, is as famous as any. The colorful feast of the Federweiser is also put on by the winegrowers of Saxony. For example, you can experience the delights of winemaking in the village of Diesbar-Seußlitz near the Elbe.

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Austria: Jünger Oesterreicher, Heuriger

Time to put on your hunting hat and feathers and go for a tasting! In Austria, most of the wine is produced in Styria, and the local young wines have been marketed under the generic Junger Osterreicher label since 1995. Every year in early November, the Junger Osterreicher festival is held in Vienna, at the Austrian Museum of Modern Art, at an exhibition of young artists. This vernissage is picked up on November 11 by Heuriger, another name for the Austrian young wine, according to the place where the producers present it to the public. According to tradition, the owner of the Heuriger could only sell a drink made from grapes from his plantation, and not more than 300 days a year.

Like Federweisser, Austrian young wine can be either red, white or rosé. The white is called “Sturm” by the locals. A note to beginner sommeliers: unlike Beaujolais Nouveau or Novello, neither Sturm nor Federweisser are considered wines themselves, but rather fermented wort.

Czech Republic: Burchak.

A Slavic wine rave draws oenophiles from the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Croatia and Czech cities. In Brno, Prague, Karlovy Vary and smaller towns, the grape harvest and parallel celebration, complete with all kinds of folk entertainment, take place beginning in September. It is worth trying the products made in small family wineries in Mikulov, Znojmo, Mělník, Moravia or, for example, in the Templar cellars in Čejkovice. When the harvest season arrives, the wine taster in the Czech Republic is sure to be accompanied by local cheeses, sausages and roast goose with cabbage.

With the harvest season upon us, the taster in the Czech Republic is sure to slip local cheeses, sausages and baked goose and cabbage to the wine.

Burchak is a wine that you have to “catch” in the first days of fermentation while the sugar/alcohol ratio is still equal. You have to stop the process in time, and keep the bottles of bur ák open all day long to get as much air as possible into the drink. The winemaking tradition in the Czech Republic, like in Italy, has been developing since around the 17th century. For this reason over the centuries has developed a perfect holiday plan for the fall: the whole September the country celebrates the grape harvest: September 13, 20-21 and 27-28 – in Prague; September 3-5, 12-13 and 11-14 – in South Moravia. And a little later, on St. Martin’s Day, it’s already time to uncork Czech Beaujolais.

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