Gamay Noir

Classic aromas of Gamay Noir are: Strawberry, Red Plum, Red Cherry and Raspberry


Gamay Noir is the red grape behind the famous Beaujolais. It was first mentioned in 1395 in an official document banning the planting of the grape in Burgundy. It was at this point the powers in charge decided that it was ‘an overly abundant grape and gaining a bad reputation’ and they wanted to plant Burgundy with a higher-quality grape such as Pinot Noir.

Though after the banning in Burgundy it moved further south and is now the main grape behind the fantastic red wines of Beaujolais. In fact the wines of Beaujolais are so popular that it is now the 7th most planted red grape in all of France with a total 30,443ha.

Outside of France the most significant plantings are in Switzerland where it is the second most planted red grape, after Pinot Noir. There are also plantings of it in Canada, Oregon and New Zealand.

The wines from Gamay are often known to be in the style of Beaujolais Nouveau, which was a style that started in the 1960s. In this process the grapes go through a very quick fermentation process under carbon dioxide, to quicken up the process, and bottled to be put on sale around the world just a month after harvest begins. These wines were cheap and cheerful with flavours of raspberry and red candy.

Many producers around Beaujolais, and the rest of the world, have proved that Gamay Noir can in fact produce good quality wines. The best examples have a high acidity, low tannins and a medium body. They also tend to be lower in alcohol. The wines will have aromas of raspberry, red cherry, strawberry and black plums.

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