If you know Beaujolais Nouveau , you have to know the Gammay variety . In France they have a National Holiday which is the Beaujolais day where all French people drink the first wine made of the season and this is made all based on Gammay.

1- Variety of Gamay red wine

– The Gamay variety is of Burgundy origin .

– It is a very diversified variety that includes a group of materials with colored pulp (Gamay tintorera).

– It comes from the  crossing  of Pinot Noir and Gouais Blanc.

– The most used denomination is Gamay noir à jus blanc.

2- Synonyms:

This variety is known as:

  1. Beaujolais,
  2. Moureau,
  3. Bouze,
  4. Noirien.

3- Characteristics of the Gammay grape:


In size small, compact medium and uneven with shaped cylindrical shoulders marked and peduncle very short and without lignify.


-Medium large size .

-Thick skin and violet to bluish black color.

-Circular section and slightly elliptical profile.

-Difficult to detach from their pedicels.

– Soft pulp without pigmentation (there are clones with slight or even marked coloring of this pulp) and that is very juicy, without peculiar aromas.


-Medium vigor , with thick shoots and usually early lignified, erect or semi-erect and high fertility.

-Of flare and early maturation (first season).

-With abundant clusters.

The designations of origin (AOC) of the Gamay, in France are:

  1. Anjou
  2. Beaujolais.
  3. Burgundy, Burgundy-Passe Tout Grains
  4. Bugey
  5. Châtillon en Diois
  6. Crémant de Bourgogne
  7. Coteaux du Giennois
  8. Coteaux du Loir
  9. Côtes d’Auvergne
  10. Côtes du Forez
  11. Côtes du Marmandais
  12. Roannaise coast
  13. Côtes de Toul
  14. Châteaumeillant
  15. Entraygues-Le Fel
  16. Estaing
  17. Gaillac
  18. Gamay (Ancenis grape)
  19. Lavilledieu
  20. Luberon
  21. Mâcon, Upper Mâcon
  22. Loire rosé
  23. Rosé des Riceys
  24. Saint Pourçain
  25. Wines from Thouarsais
  26. Touraine
  27. Valençay
  28. Savoy wines

4- Ampelographic description of the Gamay strain:

– Sumidades with lying hairs of medium or low density.

– Young leaves are yellow with tan areas.

– The adult leaves are whole or 5-lobed.

– The foliar sinuses are open.

– The underside of the leaves has low density erect hairs.

– The berries  are elliptical and short.

5- Characteristics of the Gamay variety:

– Sensitive to physiological, nutritional and pathological shifting.
– Very sensitive to  frost .
– Sensitive to  burns .
– Sensitive to  powdery mildew.
– Sensitive to  botrytis.
– Sensitive to black-rot and wood fungi .
– Requires  long pruning .

6- Oenological potential of the Gamay grape:

  • It produces very acid musts  .
  • Interesting for young, highly colored and fruity wines, poor in tannins and sometimes lacking in remarkable aromas.
  • Base del típico  vino Beaujolais Nouveau.
  • Traditionally vinified at high temperatures and with whole bunches and pressed in the vats, subjecting the must to numerous pump-overs. These techniques are possibly the predecessors of current carbonic maturation.

7- The tasting of the wines from the Gamay strain:

In sight: 

Deep red layer with violet reflections, rarely dark, limpid and bright.

On the nose: 

Aromas of red fruits (cassis, strawberry, raspberry) and sometimes of spices.

In mouth: 

Light, fresh and fruity for young wines. Strong and powerful for the ‘crus’ of more than 5 years.

8- Profile and characteristics of the wines from Gamay:

Little tannin , the wines are kept for a short time and must be consumed young.

They are light , fruity and very pleasant.

The wines from the 10 “crus” of Beaujolais, like those of some of the Val de Loire, much more tannin, can be kept for 5 or 10 years , improving their quality.

9- Gamay wine pairing:

– Perfect to accompany soft meats such as poultry or veal.

-It can also accompany poached or steamed fish .

Other Sections that should interest you:

Dr. Sofia Seccombe

My name is Dr. Sofia Seccombe, and in this small section, I want to tell you who I am and why I started this project. I don't want to bore you, but I consider that it is an important part of godlywine. It serves as an exercise in transparency so that the person who reads the articles can be sure that the information is reliable.

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