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It is a drop like no other, because it is the first of every vintage to be served up: the French Beaujolais Nouveau. Also known as Beaujolais Primeur, or “Bojo” for short, this red wine has traditionally come on the market on the third Thursday in November ever since 1985. “Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé” is the message that then spreads through wine shops around the world. The idea originated with the winegrowers in Beaujolais, which under French “wine law” is part of Burgundy. In the 1950s, they successfully fought for an exemption from the strict French wine law. They became the first to be permitted to sell their wine already in the year it was made. There was a time when British high society folk flew their private planes to Burgundy to get the very first new wine from France for themselves and their friends. Today the “Bojo” goes to more than 110 countries around the world by airfreight. About 13 million bottles are filled each year.
More than half goes to Japan. This year Lufthansa Cargo will again ship about 600 tons of this sought-after drop to the Land of the Rising Sun. The “Bojo” from Beaujolais arrives at Frankfurt Airport (FRA) on the Road Feeder Service. The challenge: to have this entire volume of freight shipped to Osaka (KIX) and Tokyo (NRT) within a period of three weeks, so that it will be on the shelves of Japanese wine merchants and ready for sale in mid-November. Lufthansa Cargo therefore sends about 50 tons of “Bojo” each day, both on board its own aircraft and in the cargo holds of Lufthansa passenger aircraft heading for Asia. In the belly of a LH740, for example, a Boeing 747-400 that is bound for Osaka. After a journey of just under twelve hours, the young wine lands in Japan. Cooperation partner All Nippon Airways supplements the services offered by Lufthansa Cargo with a further 1,200 tons of freight capacity.