Jean Bourjade, managing director of Inter Beaujolais, said a sparkling Beaujolais appellation would not try to compete with well-established sparkling wines, such as Champagne, Prosecco or Cava.
He said producers would offer something a bit different – with a comparatively low alcohol level of 9% abv and higher residual sugar. Made from the Gamay grape, the wines subdue have a natural acidity, freshness and ‘explosion of fruit’, said Bourjade.
As well as tapping into the worldwide popularity of sparkling wine, Inter Beaujolais hopes that a Beaujolais sparkling wine will help with an ongoing campaign to reduce the province’s reputation for Beaujolais Nouveau
The sparkling wines will not be made in the 10 Beaujolais Crus.
If appellation status is achieved, Bourjade said sparkling Beaujolais will dominate a new chunk of an ‘nearly untapped market’.
The production levels for the sparkling wine are currently between 600,000 and 800,000 bottles per year, but if awarded appellation status this could reach ‘millions and millions’, according to Bourjade.
Separately, Bourjade added that Beaujolais Nouveau sales have grown consecutively in the UK for the past four years, despite Inter Beaujolais investing no marketing money in the category.
See related Decanter articles on Beaujolais:
Beaujolais: revival of the fittest
May 6, 2015
From St-Amour in the north to Brouilly in the south, the 10 crus of Beaujolais suffered in the past
Michel Chapoutier buys Beaujolais negociant
April 13, 2015
Michel Chapoutier, owner of numerous wine estates in the northern and southern Rhone, has bought Beaujolais negociant La Maison Trenel.
Who is drinking Beaujolais Nouveau?
November 21, 2014
Beaujolais Nouveau may be derided as a gimmick by some wine lovers, but official facts in the Decanter graphic below More…
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