Beaujolais Nouveau wine hit by supply chain problems3 min read

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Bottles of the 2016 vintage Beaujolais Nouveau wine are displayed at a countdown event in Tokyo on November 17, 2016.

Yoshikazu Tsuno | Gamma-Rapho | Getty Images

WASHINGTON – Every year on the third Thursday of November, at exactly 12:01 a.m., the French release their celebrated first wine of the harvest — the crisp and fruity Beaujolais Nouveau.

This year, American oenophiles woke up to a Beaujolais Nouveau market hampered by supply chain problems that have become all-too-common in today’s economy, particularly driver shortages and other shipping issues.

And all of that translates into cost increases for suppliers and consumers alike.

“There are definitely issues with the supply chain. There’s always a problem with containers and there’s always a problem with space on ships, but it’s been really difficult this year,” said Dennis Kreps, co-founder of importer Quintessential Wines, which is based in California’s Napa Valley.

The market was already at a disadvantage due to climate problems. Beaujolais Nouveau production was down nearly 50% this year because of spring frost and hail, followed by a drought.

“It’s kind of a phenomenon that’s happening worldwide right now,” Kreps said. “I know some of the numbers in France specifically are down dramatically across all regions. Beaujolais was one of the hardest hit.”

Delicate grapes, tough problems

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