News Release Archive


November may be the time of year that heralds the start of a
long, cold winter ... but for wine lovers it is the time to
celebrate the arrival of the first bottling from the
northern hemisphere's 1996 grape harvest.

France's Beaujolais Nouveau from Mommessin and Roland
Bouchacourt, Italy's Vino Novello from Santa Costanza and Giacomo
Montresor and Canada's Nouveau Rouge from Nova Scotia's Jost
Vineyards and Gamay Nouveau from Ontario's Chateau des Charmes
will arrive in Nova Scotia Liquor Commission outlets Thursday,
Nov. 21.

These wines bring with them the excitement and liquor store
traffic that has been associated with the wine since the
style was introduced by the French in 1947.

Harvested less than nine weeks previous, the new wines are
light and fresh with a fruit essence that is reminiscent of
juicy strawberry or cherry. These characteristics are
accentuated when the wine is served slightly chilled, said Peter
Rockwell of the liquor commission.

Mr. Rockwell said, "The wines are meant to be consumed when they
are young, often reaching maturity by the Christmas holidays,
making them perfect gift items."

What makes the wines so lively and aromatic is the utilization of
the carbonic maceration method of fermentation.

"To minimize the acid and tannin, and increase youthful
fruit, the juice must avoid prolonged exposure to the outer
grape skin. Great care is taken not to damage the fruit so
that fermentation can be encouraged to occur within the
skin," Mr. Rockwell said.

During the carbonic maceration process, the grapes are not
pressed. Whole bunches, including stocks, are placed in
stainless steel vats. The weight of the upper bunches
crushes those towards the bottom while natural or added
yeasts start the formation of the exposed juice.

Carbon dioxide, a by-product of fermentation, begins to rise
to the top of the vat. The expanding CO2 exerts downward
pressure, forcing yeast through the skins of the unbroken
grapes and initiating fermentation from within. Ultimately,
the pressure causes the remaining grapes to burst.

While normal unpressurized maceration takes between 10 to 12
days, carbonic maceration lasts about 48 hours, with the
extracted juice creating a wine with a full berry hue and a
velvety, fruit flavour.

"Some try to pass off the Nouveau experience as promotional
hype, but nothing is further from the truth," said Mr.

"Through not a true barometer of the vintage as a whole,
individual regional micro-climates make that impossible ....
these wines have an identifiable personality that transcends
their lightweight reputation."

"Furthermore," he said, "they provide a yearly infusion of
wine awareness which often acts as a catalyst for many wine
drinkers to discover the attributes of red wine ... also they
provide a reason to talk about wine and a chance to celebrate as
winter starts to sink in."


Contact: Peter Rockwell  902-425-5667

trp                 Nov. 19, 1996 - 12:20 p.m.