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Violence mars Beaujolais Nouveau celebrations

Published:  23 July, 2008

More than 30 people were injured when this year's Beaujolais Nouveau festivities in Grenoble turned sour.
The incident is believed to be unconnected to recent riots in Parisian suburbs, during which thousands of vehicles were set ablaze. The violence in Grenoble started on Friday, where between 2,000 and 3,000 students had been celebrating the launch of this year's Beaujolais Nouveau.

News agency Reuters reported that firemen were called out to attend to an injured person, and then some of the students began to hurl missiles at police, who were assisting the fire crew. Bottles of wine were even thrown from apartment windows.

Police chief Commissioner Jean-Claude Borel Garin told the agency: Some of [the students] were very politicised. Drunk on new wine, they wanted to make a revolution - a "red Beaujolais" revolution.'

Ironically, Inter-Beaujolais, the generic body for the region, has just spent 700,000 on a new marketing campaign designed to attract younger drinkers.

It's Beaujolais Nouveau time' has replaced the traditional cry of Beaujolais Nouveau est arriv!' Inter-Beaujolais head Michel Rougier said: Instead of drinking Coke, we are telling young people it's better to drink a glass of Beaujolais.'

A new website,, has been set up, featuring the revelation from Japanese importer Kenjo Koga that the annual launch of Beaujolais Nouveau is the most important event of the year in the Japanese wine world'.