What is Gamay

Gamay is a grape varietal that is primarily used to create bold and expressive red wines, although it is also capable of producing a sparkling wine known as “Gamay Noir à Jus Blanc”. The grape is most famously associated with the Beaujolais region of France, where it is used to produce the wine known as Beaujolais. Gamay is a mutation of the Pinot Noir grape, and it’s origins are believed to be from the village of Gamay, in the Nievre department of Burgundy, France. The grape is known for its bright, fruity character and its soft tannins.

Gamay grapes are typically small and compact, with a thick skin and a deep color. The wine produced from Gamay grapes is typically light-bodied, with high acidity and low tannins. The wine is known for its bright red fruit flavors, including cherry, raspberry and red currant, with a floral bouquet. It is usually consumed young, it doesn’t have a lot of aging potential, and it is best served chilled. Gamay grapes grown in other regions such as Loire, Canada and Brazil, but the Beaujolais region is considered the best place to grow this grape and produce the most exceptional Gamay wines.

How Do You Pronounce Gamay

Gamay is pronounced “Ga-May”

What is Gamay also known as

Gamay, known for its bold and expressive red wines, is also referred to as Gamay Noir in certain regions. It is famously associated with the Beaujolais region of France and thus referred to as “Gamay Beaujolais”. Additionally, you may come across the names “Gamay de Bouze” or “Gamay de Chaudenay” which refer to two villages in the Loire region, or “Petit Beaujolais” which refers to the young and fruity wine made with this grape variety.

What Does Gamay Taste Like?

Taste Profile

Dry, Medium-light Body, None Tannins, Medium-high Acidity, 10–11.5% ABV

Primary Flavours

Pomegranate, Blackberry Bramble, Violet, Potting Soil, Peony

Storage & Handling

When it comes to storing and handling Gamay wines, it is best to keep them at a cool and consistent temperature, ideally between 55-60°F (13-15°C). They should be stored on their side to keep the cork moist and prevent air from entering the bottle. As for handling, it’s important to decant the wine to allow it to breathe and bring out its full flavor and aroma.

Food Pairing

What do you pair with Gamay wines?

Gamay wines pair well with a variety of dishes, particularly those with a light-to-medium body. They are a great match for grilled or roasted meats, poultry, and fish. They also pair well with salads, vegetables and light cheese.

Where is Gamay grown? 

Gamay is primarily grown in the Beaujolais region of France, where it is used to produce the wine known as Beaujolais. This region is considered the best place to grow this grape and produce the most exceptional Gamay wines.

Gamay is also grown in other regions such as Loire, Canada and Brazil but the wines produced in Beaujolais are the most famous. The Loire region is known for producing a more fresh and crisp style of Gamay, while in Canada and Brazil, the wines tend to be more fruit-forward and have a higher alcohol content.