Each November over a million cases of Beaujolais Nouveau begin their journey from little villages all across France, arriving in Paris for immediate shipment to all parts of the world. Thus one of the most frivolous and animated rituals in the wine world has begun.
It has become a worldwide race to be the first to serve to this new wine of the harvest. In doing so, it has been carried by motorcycle, balloon, truck, helicopter, elephant, runners and rickshaws to get it to its final destination.
In South Africa, the arrival of the new vintage of Beaujolais Nouveau is celebrated with a festival. Now in its thirteenth year, the Cape Town Beaujolais Festival has been attracting increasing numbers of guests each year, and is recognised as one of the most exciting events in the wine lover's calendar.
This year, the evening event will take the form of an authentic French-styled Night Market in the warehouse and courtyard spaces at the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock, featuring speciality French food vendors, live music, theatrical performers, dancing, and, of course, plenty of the new Beaujolais vintage.
French themed specialty foods can be purchased separately from food traders around the market atmosphere, and will include: French cheeses, pates, charcuterie, olives, crepes, quiches & tarts, freshly shucked oysters, as well as a specially prepared 'Plat du Jour' by award-winning chef Pete Goffe-Wood of Kitchen Cowboys.
The festivities will begin at 7pm with admission fee of R100 per person at the door. Entrance fee includes two glasses of Beaujolais per person (or one bottle per couple) as well as all the live entertainment.