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

  • Domaine du Breuil Saint Amour 2011


    I bought this bottle of wine from the website ... it is made from the gamay grape,a cross between pinot noir and a white grape called gouais introduced by the Romans.My bottle comes from an established family business of Domaine du Breuil.I started it the other evening with my pork chop and I did enjoy it.It is a wine with a strong taste.Subtle... Read More

    Wine review by duncan 906

  • A good question, that brings out various perspectives on knowledge and taste ... know how well pinot noir and gamay meld together, though different winemakers also include Gamaret, Garanoir, Carminoir, Ancellotta, Diolinoir, Merlot and Syrah in their bottlings. In cooler regions like Valais in Switzerland, pinot noir doesn't have the chance to... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What types of wine are...

  • I doubt that current Burgundy makers of any repute would risk shipping grapes ... to be a blend of Pinot and Gamay, and Passe-Tout-Grains is a blend of Gamay and Pinot by law. But I'm not standing on the loading docks in Burgundy, if that's what you are asking.  I've had a few Faively wines that seemed kind of spoofy, enough that I don't buy t... Read More

    Forum post in the topic One Day in Europe for Wine...

  • This one caught my eye. Not pinot noir, but gamay a la Loire via Oregon and Ian Cauble. Color me interested... Leah Jorgensen Cellars, Tour Rain, Red Blend Oregon 2014 Just when the same old stand-by classics prompt us to yawn in boredom, an interesting wine of such purity, personality and historic roots comes along to throttle our se... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?

  • Vaucher Pere & Fils Cru du Beaujolais Fleurie 2014


    Lots of light showing through red ruby color. Nose of red berriesmostly strawberries. More of a cherry flavor on the tongue. However, there is also very obvious effervescence here. I could not discern bubbles in the glass, but the mouth sensation is the same. Roughly the same body as a good rosé. Unfortunate bitterness as the wine passes t... Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Yeah vinOvinO, I bit too. An eclectic mix I think.Cabot Vineyards - Aged Zins ... ... 2013 Willamette Valley Gamay Noir Rosé Eola-Amity Hills, 2013 Willard Farms/Thistle Vineyard Washington/Oregon Pinot Noir/Gamay Noir, 2014 Rogue Valley Grenache Blanc/MarsanneCowan Cellars -  The Italians - 2ea 2012 Ribolla Gialla Russian River Valley Skin-f... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?

  • Louis Jadot Chateau des Jacques Moulin-a-Vent 2012


    Light bodied and fruity with lots of acidity. Nice. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher

  • Little known by most wine consumers, Saint Bris is an unusual wine that seems ... throughout the region, while Gamay is the key grape in Beaujolais.Tucked away in the far north of Bourgogne in close proximity to Chablis, Saint Bris is the only AOP in Bourgogne where Sauvignon Blanc may be grown. And it is fascinating to learn that the soils in... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Saint Bris - A most unusual...

  • I'm really enjoying the tasting notes, too.  I think Red has a style ... or WE, she'd be great.So gamay is the grape of Beaujolais (except for the tiny bit of white, which uses Chardonnay and/or Aligote), but there's something else that sets Beaujolais apart, and that's their unusual fermentation technique, called carbonic maceration.  It's us... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Snooth!

  • I was just thinking it was about time we heard from you Red ; )Beajolais and Gamay go together hand in hand. That is to say, all the red wine grown in the region of Beajolais, which is 3-4 hours by car South East of Paris, France, is made using 100% Gamay, and 99% of all wine from there is red! So basically Gamay has a monopoly in that region, a... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Snooth!

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