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Profiled Winemakers – Georges Duboeuf

With an annual production over 30 million bottles, Georges Duboeuf is an international phenomenon. Controlling more than 20% of the region’s production, Georges Duboeuf put this appellation on the map long ago. His wines are distributed in more than 120 countries, and his company, Les Vins Georges Duboeuf, had total sales of more than 80 million Euros in 2007, 75% of it achieved in foreign markets. Georges Duboeuf is the number one French wine brand in the U.S.

Born on April 14, 1933, in Chaintré (France) and raised on a small farm where his family worked a few acres of vines in Pouilly-Fuissé for four centuries, Georges’ passion for winemaking was born at a young age, when he started working in the family vineyards and learned winemaking from his uncle and brother.

After a short stint in Paris to study physical education, he went back to his roots at 18 years old and began delivering the family wine on his bicycle to neighboring restaurants. Some of his early customers were chefs like Paul Bocuse and Pierre Troisgros, who were the first ambassadors for his wines. The local chefs appreciated the quality of Duboeuf’s wines.

Duboeuf expanded the business and started bottling the wines of other vignerons. In 1957 he formed a group of 45 producers, and later went on to become his own négociant in 1964, founding Les Vins Georges Duboeuf. Today the company works with over 20 wine co-ops and 400 growers in the region. From the beginning of his career, he has always valued relationships with restaurateurs, producers, winemakers and importers.”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,” says Duboeuf.

Georges Duboeuf’s love affair with Beaujolais is no secret. When asked about his success, he modestly replies “maybe a flair for marketing, perhaps an ability to communicate a passion for the product.” A self-made entrepreneur, he has been acclaimed by the industry for his innovative concepts and for popularizing across the globe Beaujolais Nouveau, whose arrival is celebrated every third Thursday of November.

In 1993, he inaugurated Le Hameau du Vin, an unique wine park, a project he matured like a grand cru. The first œnoparc ever, it has already been visited by more than one million people, and is dedicated to the history of vines, wine and vignerons of Beaujolais.

In 2007 he opened La Cave de Georges Duboeuf, at rue Marboeuf in Paris, a few steps from the Champs Elysees showcasing his extensive range of wines from Beaujolais, Macônnais, Pays d’Oc, Loire and Rhone Valleys under numerous appellations and domaines. Georges’ legendary palate, his ability to spot a good wine and his continuing enthusiasm made him an emblematic figure of the wine business. His wines are renowned for their consistency, quality and value.

Georges Duboeuf has been awarded Chevalier du Mérite Agricole, Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite and Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur, France’s highest distinction. Now 76 years old, he stills runs his business with the collaboration of his family. Rolande, his wife since 1957, is in charge of the national market. They have two children, Fabienne and Franck, the latter who is now co-proprietor of Les Vins Georges Duboeuf with his father. Both father and son are passionate and arduous promoters of the Beaujolais region, where they work and live.

W.J. Deutsch & Sons is the exclusive U.S. importer for Les Vins Georges Duboeuf.

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