Georges Duboeuf, who has died aged 86, was known as "le roi du Beaujolais" and was credited with turning Beaujolais Nouveau, a drink once handed out for nothing on village
streets, into a major product.
In the 1970s, Duboeuf, who had set up his own production company, Les Vins Georges Duboeuf, in 1964, was looking for a new idea to steal a march on his rivals. He noticed how villages in Beaujolais had taken to celebrating each new harvest by sploshing raw wine into the goblets of vineyard workers and passers-by.
The merriment of the occasion made up for the new wine's shortcomings, and the practice spread to the streets of Lyon and even to Paris, where from the 1950s there was an annual race among restaurateurs to get their hands on the first bottles.