Boisset Family Estates Announces Provocative Move to Transform Beaujolais Nouveau

August 12, 2008 (PRLEAP.COM) Lifestyle News
SAUSALITO, CA, August 12, 2008 - Boisset Family Estates today announces a new French revolution with a bold move that will transform the wine world and its experience of the well-known Beaujolais Nouveau wines from the historical wineries of Mommessin and Bouchard Aîné & Fils. Boisset also debuts Fog Mountain, the first California wine in 750ml PET bottles released in the United States. Boisset is well-known as a dynamic pioneer for innovation and sustainability in the wine world with French rabbit wines in Tetra Pak, Yellow Jersey and Louis Bernard Côtes du Rhône Bonus Passus AOC in 750ml PET bottles, and Mommessin Beaujolais Grande Reserve in 750ml Aluminum bottles with Cooldot(tm) technology.

"This year, Boisset Family Estates is the first winery ever to announce that all Beaujolais Nouveau wines imported to North America will be packaged exclusively in lightweight PET plastic bottles," states Jean-Charles Boisset, President, Boisset Family Estates. "In addition, we will simultaneously debut Fog Mountain, featuring the first organically-farmed California Nouveau in 750ml PET bottles, to highlight our commitment to reducing the wine world's carbon footprint by producing locally."

"It is critical in today's time, with the scarcity of our planet's resources and the known environmental impacts of human activity, that we consider whether we should still ship thousands of cases of wine in heavy bottles via air throughout the world in order for the wines to arrive on time for their annual release date in November, when we can reduce fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions by more than half through a responsible choice of packaging."

Beaujolais Nouveau wines are the first taste of the new vintage. They are refreshing, fruity wines meant to be enjoyed while young as a harvest celebration. The Nouveau tradition has been carried on since the 19th century when the wines were transported down the Saône River to the bistros of Lyon. Beaujolais Nouveau became a worldwide phenomenon and is today enjoyed in major cities throughout the world when the wines are released on the third Thursday of November. In 2006, 5 million cases of Beaujolais Nouveau were produced, and approximately 270,000 cases imported to the US and Canada, much of which was air shipped to arrive immediately after their allowed release.

"Were all of this year's Beaujolais Nouveau imported to North America similarly packaged in PET or other alternative packages, we estimate saving literally millions of pounds of greenhouse gas emissions from entering our atmosphere," notes Boisset. Life-cycle analyses conducted by third-parties have suggested that PET bottles produce 40% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than a traditional bottle. For all the Beaujolais Nouveau imported to the US and Canada, this translates into an estimated reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of more than 2,000,000 lbs2. For the world's total Beaujolais Nouveau production of 5 million cases, Boisset estimates savings of more than 37,000,000 lbs. of CO2.

Debut of Fog Mountain

Boisset will this year also release the first wine from Fog Mountain - a California Nouveau wine in 750ml PET bottles produced from California grapes in the traditional Nouveau style of the Beaujolais region of France. Rooted in Sonoma County, Fog Mountain is dedicated to exceptional wines that benefit the environment through sustainable farming and lightweight, more efficient PET packaging. The release of a California Nouveau highlights a commitment to not only releasing Beaujolais Nouveau wines in PET bottles, but also further reducing the carbon footprint by producing the wines closer to the point of sale, thereby eliminating air freight entirely.

Fog Mountain will be the first California wine released in 750ml PET bottles in the U.S. market.

Dramatic Benefits for the Environment and the Consumer

"Our Beaujolais Nouveau wines in PET bottles weigh a mere 22 lbs per case vs. 38 pounds for the traditional bottle - a 42% savings in shipping weight," notes Boisset. "This directly translates into fuel savings and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions."

Third-party studies estimate that wine packaged in PET, throughout their lifecycle including production, transportation and recycling, produce approximately 50-60% fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared with traditional wine packaging.

The choice for PET further benefits the consumer by reducing the cost of freight: "We expect that freight costs will be approximately 33% lower for Beaujolais Nouveau wines in PET. This savings will be directly passed on to the consumer." Boisset expects their Mommessin Beaujolais Nouveau and Bouchard Aîné & Fils Beaujolais Nouveau to retail for $12.99. The retail cost, had it been produced in traditional bottles, would have been $13.99 -$14.99.

#1 PET bottles are the primary choice for those seeking the highest quality, safest, and most recyclable plastic bottle, with zero impact on the wine quality. Boisset's bottle contains an oxygen barrier, called MonOxbar, that ensures the highest quality of the wine and a long shelf life for these Nouveau wines meant to be enjoyed nearly immediately upon release.

Boisset states that the choice of PET offers additional benefits to consumers and to members of the wine trade: "The traditional characteristics of Beaujolais Nouveau wines - crisp, refreshing young fruit - are perfectly protected in our innovative PET bottle. Further, the shatterproof bottle finished with a screwcap provides ease-of-use, safety, and convenience to all who enjoy the first taste of the 2008 harvest."

Boisset Family Estates owns and imports Mommessin and Bouchard Aîné & Fils - two venerable Burgundy wine houses each with deep historical traditions in Burgundy and Beaujolais.

Boisset Family Estates:

Boisset Family Estates is an innovative, eco-minded, family-owned producer and importer of fine wine and spirits. Its goal is to express the qualities of its wines with an "art de vivre" and style that consistently honors provenance and enhances terroir, history, heritage, and quality. The philosophy of uniting each wine with innovative packaging is a vision of sustainability and desire to provide wines for every moment, mode of consumption and occasion. With its roots in Burgundy, France, wineries on two continents and a U.S. office in California, Boisset is a leading producer of Pinot Noir and one of France's top exporters of premium wines. For more information on the company and its wineries, please visit

Additional wine world innovations from Boisset Family Estates:

-Boisset's best known brand in alternative packaging is French rabbit in Tetra Pak cartons, which has a carbon footprint that is 10% that of wine in glass and sells more than 240,000 cases per year globally. (This winter, Boisset will launch Green rabbit, its organic cousin.)

-Mommessin Beaujolais Grande Reserve in 750 ml aluminum bottles, which are infinitely recyclable, reusable, and half the weight compared to traditional bottles (22lbs per case). Boisset has paired green packaging with innovative technology, introducing the CooldotTM - a dot changes color to alert the consumer when this red wine, made from the Gamay grape and historically served chilled, has reached the perfect temperature to drink. This stylish, high tech bottle has a product to packaging ratio of 87:13, where glass is 60:40.

-Boisset has successfully employed PET technology for its Yellow Jersey wines (recently launched in the US) and for Louis Bernard's Côtes du Rhône Bonus Passus. Both feature a lightweight, 100% recyclable plastic bottle with 38% of the carbon footprint of glass and an oxygen-barrier to protect the premium quality of the wine. These are the first 750ml PET wines in the US.

-In France, Boisset is developing a glass bottle that will be 150 grams lighter than the conventional bottle, matching innovation with tradition.

Images Available Upon Request.

For more press information or images, please contact: Kimberly Charles, Charles Communications Associates at or (415) 701-9463; or Patrick Egan, Boisset Family Estates at or (415) 289-4500.

(1)PET stands for "polyethylene terephthalate"
and it is a thermoplastic polymer resin used in packaging applications.
Lightweight and safe (BPA-free - now and always), PET reduces waste by
90% and conserves fuel and reduces greenhouse gases during transport.
It is estimated to have a 50-60% smaller carbon footprint than a
traditional bottle and is 100% recyclable.

(2)PET: .375 lbs CO2 per bottle = 4.5lbs CO2 per case * 270,000 cases = 1, 215,000 lbs CO2

Glass: 1 lbs. CO2 per bottle = 12 lbs CO2 per case *270,000 cases = 3,240,000 lbs. CO2

SAVINGS: PET versus Glass = 3,240,000 - 1,215,000 = 2,025,000 lbs. CO2