Name of varietal: Gamay
Common synonyms: Gamay Noir à Jus Blanc, Bourgignon Noir, Game, Petit Bourgignon, Petit Gamai, Petite Lyonnaise
Parentage of the grape: unknown
History of the grape: Legend has it that it was brought over by the Romans in the first century BC to the town of Beaujeu, near Beaune, in the Burgundy region of France. In the mid 1300s it was cultivated as a relief from the strains of the Black Death. It’s much easier to grow than Pinot Noir, which is the distinguished red grape of Burgundy, and can ripen up to two weeks earlier. However, in 1395, the Duke of Burgundy, Philippe le Hardi (Philip the Bold), signed an edict outlawing the grapes. He said they were “inflame and deloyal” (despicable and disloyal) and taking too much space from the noble grape Pinot Noir. In 1459, Philippe le Bon (Philip the Good), grandson of Le Hardi, signed another edict reaffirming his family’s distaste for the varietal, afraid their Read more »

Mentor for Gamay Wines

Mary Margaret McCamic

Based in North Carolina, I'm a wine instructor at The Chef's Academy and owner of The Clever Vine, a wine consulting and education service. I hold the WSET Diploma and have a strong background in French wine, with a special interest in the Loire Valley.

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Popular Gamay wines

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Gamay on Snooth

  • Fleurie Millesime Cave de Fleurie 2005


    Ruby-garnet colour. Medium nose of red fruit (mainly strawberry) and vanilla. Dry with low acid and tannin, light-medium bodied. A bit short. Read More

    Wine review by Robert Dallas Gray

  • Labouré-Roi Pinot Noir Bourgogne Maximum 2006


    interesting style for this unusual pinot noirfeels like a blend of gamay / pinot noirmore body than a classic bourgogne Read More

    Wine review by Olivier

  • Barton & Guestier NV


    No written review

    Wine review by Marcost

  • Olivier Cousin Anjou Gamay 2005


    Extraordinarily funky and changes dramatically over the course of a meal. But a fun ride. Read More

    Wine review by Jefferby

  • Hello Guys,I am a wine novice with a lot of interest in Burgundy and Bordeaux. I am still a student so I don't have a large wine budget. I was hoping you more experienced wine connoisseurs could direct me to some "entry-level" (preferably under $20) wines from these regions that reflect their terroir. An example from different sub-regions would ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Novice to Burgundy & Bordeaux

  • Beaujolais Jadot 2007


    No written review

    Wine review by westc23

  • Beaujolais Jadot 2007


    No written review

    Wine review by westc23

  • Pierre Chermette Domaine Vissoux Beaujoilais Villages 2006


    No written review

    Wine review by drdebs

  • Saint-Amour Aoc 2005


    One of the lighter Cru Beaujolais. This wine had all of the usual gamay character only with a deeper, more pronounced flavor. More tannic than your average Beaujolais. If you like Beaujolais or Beaujolais Villages and want to get into the Cru Beaujolais, this would be a good place to start. Read More

    Wine review by ttutony

  • I really enjoyed the full-bodied flavor of the bottle that the Snooth team cracked open on Friday: As someone with a so-far limited knowledge of wine, I'm wondering if there's any particular aspect of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines that exist in some of the ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Châteauneuf-du-Pape...

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