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

  • As a long-time resident of Philadelphia, trips to “Wine Country” ... many stellar wines, has a Gamay Noir and a Reserve Gamay of which the folks in Beaujolais might just be jealous); and Hosmer Estate Winery, who are one of the few making Sauvignon Blanc in the appellation and are frankly crushing it.There are two more “stalwart” wineries that... Read More

    From the article This world-class wine region was in my backyard.

  • GREGT, that's great, thanks! I'll have to go back to my other books and ... have any source material for Gamay that would fill in the real reasons why it was banned from Burgundy?&nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic "Ancient" Decrees & History ?

  • Sorry about the tardiness, all the spam is a pain.Anyway, had a couple over the ... ... of Pinot Gris, Marsanne, Gamay and Petite Arvine.  Very interesting color - light orange in the glass with aromas of melon.  Flavors of honeysuckle, honey and a little of that nutty, spicy Marsanne flavor, just a really interesting wine.I found this in a nea... Read More

    Forum post in the topic And now for something...

  • Barrios - don't look in wine literature for starters. You'll just find ... just repeated. The idea of Gamay is a perfect case - the Duke didn't ban it because he was a wine lover and had better grapes, but that's the story people recycle. Gamay had been around since the third century, maybe earlier. And the monks didn't sit there planting vari... Read More

    Forum post in the topic "Ancient" Decrees & History ?

  • DMCKER - thanks for responding! Yea, researching online hasn't turned up ... of the decree that outlawed Gamay in Burgundy and the repercussions of that act (moving Gamay south). Basically anything that notes (for whatever reason: scientific, mystical, word of mouth) why growers, or a population, would stop growing a certain set of varietals o... Read More

    Forum post in the topic "Ancient" Decrees & History ?

  • So it's been a while since I've been on here but I was just doing a ... one that effectively pushed Gamay into Beaujolais by the Duke of Burgundy. I haven't found much so far outside of another issued in 1731 mandating vines planted after 1702 be uprooted to be replaced by cereal grains. I figured if I found more situations like this I could u... Read More

    Forum post in the topic "Ancient" Decrees & History ?

  • Joseph Drouhin Saint Amour 2014


    No written review

    Wine review by martins2002

  • Clos Saint-Jean Tradition Cote Roannaise 2016


    I bought this bottle of wine from a shop in London's Primrose Hill ... and ... and rose wines made of the gamay grape from 14 communes west of the village of Roanne on the upper reaches of the Loire river.Clos Saint-Jean is a small family producer in this region.I started my bottle last night with my supper of roast pork.There is some blackcur... Read More

    Wine review by duncan 906

  • Everything I am about to share was gleaned during my recent trip to ProWein, ... ... after Cabernet Franc and Gamay Noir. Suffice it to say, this grape is prime for a varietal reviva Read More

    From the article Top 5 Grapes to Watch

  • Domaine les Roches Bleues Cotes de Brouilly Reserve des Vieilles Vignes 2010


    I bought this bottle of wine from the website for ... and made from the gamay grape.My bottle comes from a small family concern and was made from 50 year old vines on the Cote de Brouilly and was aged in oak barrels. I started my bottle last night with my supper of pork chop.There is plenty of a bramble,blackcurant and lic... Read More

    Wine review by duncan 906

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