26th Annual Galena Nouveau Wine Weekend, “Le Beaujolais nouveau est arrivé!”

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record
French-inspired Nouveau wine tradition becomes a 26-year tradition in Galena, Illinois

“Le Beaujolais nouveau est arrivé!” Simply translated, “Wine lovers: get ready, get set, go!” The third Thursday of November marks the annual release of Beaujolais Nouveau, and the opportunity to be the first to sample the new, shortly fermented wine, previewing the current year’s fall harvest.

In France, this tradition began well over a century ago. In Galena, Illinois, it kicked off at the hands of Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery in 1985. Today, it’s grown to be a full-blown community celebration inviting epicureans of all levels to enjoy all things wine.

The weekend officially kicks off Friday, November 19 at 2:30 pm when the familiar “clip clop” of horse hooves will be heard throughout Galena’s downtown. On board the horse-drawn wagons sporting revelers is a celebrated guest that will have the entire town in merriment all weekend—Galena Cellars’ 2010 Nouveau wine.

Local restaurants embrace the celebration, offering traditional Nouveau-inspired luncheons and wine tastings, live music and receptions. Throughout the weekend, wine lovers can also enjoy vineyard tours (Galena boasts three area vineyards), winemaker dinners, wine-inspired pampering such as spa and shopping specials and lodging packages.

New to this years’ celebration is a Grand Tasting offering a sampling of more than 200 wines. A great value at only $30 per person ($35 at the door), the Grand Tasting takes place on Saturday, November 20 from 3:30-6 pm at Galena’s Convention Center (900 Galena Square Drive).  

Advanced tickets purchase (recommended), as well as a complete list of weekend happenings and offerings are available online at www.nouveauweekend.com. Additional area offerings and visitor information may be found at the Galena/Jo Daviess County Convention and Visitors Bureau at www.galena.org or by calling (877) Go-Galena. While in town, visit the CVB’s Old Train Depot Visitor Information Center at 101 Bouthillier St. (corner of Park Avenue) for on-site assistance and countywide information.

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