by Averill Shepps___
A subject I could barely touch on when presenting the Beaujolais tasting last month was the amazing life and contribution of Georges DuBoeuf. He was born in 1933 into a peasant family who did subsistence farming to survive in a village near Pouilly Fuisse in the Maconnais region. His father died when he was very young and he was raised by his uncle and older brother. When 16 years old, he got on his bicycle with a few bottles of wine and took them to a nearby restaurant to sell them. The restaurants were pleased with the wines and continued to buy. He gradually built up a clientele but was careful to handle the best wines from the best producers he could find, knowing that the restaurants would then depend on him for quality He bought an old van, and even fitted it with a bottling machine so that he could bottle wine for the farmer/winemakers who could not afford to buy their own equipment. Gradually his business grew and grew as he provided a way for all the small producers to market their wines. At the same time the whole area was benefitting from the influx of cash. Subsistence farming evolved into a healthy economy. Is it any surprise that Georges is now known as the “King of Beaujolais” or “Ambassador for Beaujolais. There are a couple of books that I can recommend, “Man on a Bicycle”, the best known and which I have not read but will, and “I’ll Drink to That”, by Rudolph Chelminsky, which I have read and from which I learned a great deal, especially of how DuBoeuf, with a very humble but hard-working start to life, was able to accomplish so much not only for himself, but for the whole area from which he came.