Whole planeloads of red wine – not such a rarity each year in November. Lufthansa Cargo alone is flying 550 tonnes this time, to the delight of the world’s wine lovers.
But the rules are strict, the new wine may not be quaffed till after the stroke of midnight on the third Thursday in November. Only then can the eagerly awaiting aficionados around the globe uncork and sample this year’s vintage. The rule dates back more than 60 years to 1951 when the Beaujolais winegrowers were first allowed selling the new vintage in the year of its harvest.
Making sure the new vintage arrives on time on 15 November to proclaim "Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé!" at numerous celebrations requires sophisticated logistics, since the young wine is now coveted by wine lovers all over the world. In Asia especially, the fanbase of the fresh and fruity red wine is particularly huge.
Demand is notably high in Japan and China. The biggest single shipment, all of 39 tonnes, was, therefore, flown to Tokyo on 6 November.