Georges Duboeuf highlighted the annual release of Beaujolais Nouveau wines worldwide, which happens on the third Thursday of November

By Benjamin VanHoose
January 06, 2020 12:51 PM
Georges Duboeuf, 1995
Xavier ROSSI/Gamma-Rapho via Getty

Georges Duboeuf, a well-known figure in the wine industry, has died, multiple outlets report. He was 86.

On Saturday, Duboeuf died of a stroke at home in Romanèche-Thorins, France, according to BBC News.

“Beaujolais, France, and the wine industry lost one of their most passionate advocates with the passing of Georges Duboeuf,” Duboeuf’s son Franck and his family said in a statement to Wine Spectator. “During his 86 years with us, he brought much personal joy and inspiration to our lives as well as to those he touched throughout his career.”

The statement continued: “We loved him and will continue to honor his legacy personally, and through the wines he nurtured and loved, for many years to come.”

Duboeuf was born into a modest winemaking family and quit school as a teen to pursue a career in the field, according to the outlet. With his innovative marketing prowess, Duboeuf was able to boost Beaujolais Nouveau into the forefront of wine-drinkers’ palates in the 1980s.

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Georges Duboeuf, 2006
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He is often credited for expanding the trade business and the reach of French wines to fans around the globe.

“Young and full of energy, Georges set off with the family-grown wines strapped to his bicycle, meeting top restaurateurs like Gaston Brazier, Paul Blanc, Paul Bocuse, Jean and Pierre Troisgros, and even the Haeberlin brothers,” reads the Les Vins Georges Duboeuf company website. “The distinguished Beaujolais wines found their place naturally among these prestigious establishments.”

In a 2007 interview with Decanter, Duboeuf opened up about why his career in wines was so successful, as well as how he planned to expand his empire at the time.

“Beaujolais is about capturing the quintessence of Gamay, of the terroir and always the stamp of the vigneron. There’s no good négociant without a good vigneron,” he said. “There’s no secret, just a lot of hard work, dedication and a good relationship with the vigneron.”

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