Homage to Georges Duboeuf
A page has turned in Beaujolais, Georges Duboeuf has passed.
To give historical context, Georges Duboeuf was born in 1933 in Chaintré, where his family has cultivated vines for four centuries.
The creation of the appellation system in France by the INAO in 1936 allowed the world of production to focus on the values of ethics, terroirs, but things did not move very quickly. The tensions of the war, and the reconstruction of the post-war period left France in the 1950s in a state of general weakness and along with its vineyards.
It was in this context in the 1950s that Georges Duboeuf began his professional life, going from winemaker to winemaker, from cellar to cellar, initiating a new profession: "bottling at the property". He was thus trying to convince, like a missionary, that to seduce the consumer, the profession had to evolve. He quickly saw where the direction needed to go in the Beaujolais vineyards. This is how he set up his own business in 1964.
His intuition allowed him to trace a brand new path, his own path at the beginning, which later will become a common thread for many others, without looking back and never missing any key moments in the chapter of this region’s history.
Through his vision and his work, he gave life, colour, aromas and joy to the wines of Beaujolais. He was a catalyst, taking with him other merchants and other winemakers which made Beaujolais the first vineyard in France to make the headlines in newspapers and televisions, in France and around the world. No one has forgotten, both on the occasion of the Beaujolais Nouveau and the Fête des Crus, everything that happened then, upon his initiative, on the side of his dear Hameau du Vin. Many joined in with him, during these evenings of November 14 at the stroke of midnight, in the years 70 to 90, with the thrill of emotion, for these new wines which went to the four corners of the world in an atmosphere festive, to the sounds of brass bands, truck horns and bells of the Romanèche-Thorins church.
Perfectly supported in his quest for the good, by Paul Bocuse, Georges Blanc, Pierre Troigros, Jean Paul Lacombe and many others, Georges Duboeuf was an initiator, a forerunner, a Grand Monsieur as we do not often meet.
Loyal to his style, throughout his life, he trained this vineyard and its winemakers, taking them to the end of the world, or bringing their customers from the end of the world to their cellars, in a real partnership. He was the catalyst of the Beaujolais region at the beginning, then later its tireless ambassador.
If Paul Bocuse, his lifelong friend, had brought the chefs out of their kitchens, Georges Duboeuf brought the winegrowers out from their cellars; if the former was considered the "sacred" Pope of Gastronomy, many lovers of wines did not hesitate to see Georges as the Pope of Beaujolais.
Behind a warm, reassuring and almost bewitching voice hid a lot of things with a lot of force. It was taste, a nose, intuition, vision, a huge memory and above all a lot of work. With a lot of charisma but an equally discreet man, but just as comfortable with all the winemakers whose trade he knew perfectly, as with the many stars of show business who came to see him.
On behalf of all the winemakers and traders, Inter Beaujolais pays tribute to this man whose name will forever remain in the history of Beaujolais.
Today, the notoriety of the business remains intact, the family business is in good hands with his son, Franck Duboeuf, at the helm and the adventure will continue. This is not the end of a book, but only the end of a beautiful and long chapter.
In any case, we lower our hat to Georges Duboeuf. Thank you "Monsieur Georges" for everything you brought to this region, you were the honour of Beaujolais.