CHATILLON, France -- Celebration is the mot du jour in France’s Beaujolais region on the third Thursday of November, when winemakers and sellers uncork the season’s Beaujolais Nouveau with feasting and fanfare.
But considerable uncertainty is clouding this year’s celebration of the idiosyncratic wine, known for its youth rather than its age, as the French wine industry finds itself increasingly squeezed by unfavorable geopolitics and turbulent markets.
New American tariffs are threatening profits. Brexit looms. Unrest in Hong Kong has shaken that lucrative market. And China is turning to Chilean and Argentine wines instead.
“Today, world commerce is complicated, especially in a period where the competition is strong,” Dominique Piron, president of the Beaujolais winemakers’ association, told The Associated Press.