• Color: Red (Purple-Skinned)
  • Grape Parentage: Gouais Blanc x Pinot
  • Place of Origin: Burgundy (prior to the discovery of its genetic parentage, some theories suggested that Gamay originated in Dalmatia)
  • Origin of Grape Name: Gamay’s namesake is the town of Gamay, near Chalon-sur-Saône
  • Major Countries of Production:
    • France: 28,836 hectares (2011, FranceAgrimer)
      • Rhône département: 17,443 ha
      • Saône et Loire département: 2,261 ha
      • Loire et Cher département: 1,554 ha
      • Maine et Loire: 967 ha
      • Tarn département: 777 ha
      • Côte d’Or: 179 ha
    • Switzerland
  • Synonyms: 
    • France: Petit Gamai, Gamay Rond, Bourguignon Noir, Petit Bourguignon
    • Germany: Blauer Gamet
    • Note: In California, “Gamay Beaujolais” is actually a clone of Pinot Noir, and “Napa Gamay” is actually Valdiguié (Brocol).  True Gamay Noir was imported into California in 1973.
  • Gamay Teinturier Variants: Gamay de Chaudenay, Gamay de Bouze, Gamay Fréaux (these may be crossings or mutations developed through mass selection over time)
  • Viticultural Characteristics: Thin-Skinned, Early-Budding, Early-Ripening, Susceptible to Botrytis/Grey Rot and Powdery Mildew
  • Preferred Soil Type: schist and granite
  • Common Blending Partners: Pinot Noir

Typical Descriptors and Structure for Beaujolais

  • Visual: Bright Ruby with Purple Tones, Low to Moderate Plus (Low to Medium Minus in basic village wines, with higher concentration in some cru wines), Possible Residual Gas from Carbonic Maceration
  • Aromas/Flavors: Moderate Plus to High Intensity
    • Fruit: Tart Red Fruit (Strawberry, Red Cherry, Raspberry, Cranberry, Red Currant), Watermelon
    • Carbonic Maceration Notes: Pear Drop, Banana, Bubblegum, Cotton Candy, Lifted Red Fruit/Floral Aromatics
    • Floral: Violets, Lilacs, Peonies
    • Other: Slight Black Pepper, Dry Savory Herbs
    • Earth: Moderate to High Minerality, Wet Granite, Stony, Crushed Rock
    • Oak: None or Neutral Casks

Structure: Dry, Moderate Minus to Moderate Body, Diminished to Moderate Tannin, Elevated Acidity, Moderate Alcohol

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