The ruling council for Beaujolais Nouveau wines is considering a ban on wineries replacing glass bottles with PET bottles and cartons, in order to protect the wine region's image.

A spokesperson for Inter Beaujolais, the regional wine council, confirmed to just-drinks today (24 November) that wineries could be restricted to packaging their Beaujolais Nouveau wines in glass.

There is scepticism over the introduction of PET bottles, said the body, which last week held the annual launch party for the new Beaujolais vintage.

"The plastic bottle, or PET, is very new in wine," said the spokesperson. "It is true that the winemakers, who are loyal to the traditional glass bottle, would like to limit Beaujolais Nouveau to this type of bottle."

Daniel Bulliat, head of the Beaujolais-Beaujolais Village wine trade body, reportedly criticised the quality and image of PET bottles in a press conference in Japan last week. 

A handful of producers have begun bottling some of their Beaujolais Nouveau in PET bottles.

Industry heavyweight Boisset was the first to make the switch last year. It said the bottles were lighter, "nearly identical" to glass and would reduce the price of its wine by $1-$2 to around $12.99 in the US.

Special technology protects the wine's aroma and colour by preventing oxygen from seeping into the bottle, it said.

A decision on whether to outlaw plastic bottles for Beaujolais Nouveau will be made in the next few months, Inter Beaujolais said.

The council has hailed the 2009 Beaujolais vintage as "historic". A spokesperson told just-drinks: "It is a vintage that one will only see once or twice in a lifetime."