True Gamay is known as Gamay Noir à Jus Blanc to distinguish it from a number of red-fleshed grapes which were grown to add to colour to red wines, these were also called Gamay.
When you hear the name Gamay you immediately think of one famous region in France, Beaujolais. However it is also widely grown in Switzerland, in Napa Valley there was an attempt to produce Gamay wine which failed (not to be confused with Napa Gamay – a different grape altogether- Valdiguié) and it is currently grown very successfully in the North eastern corner of Victoria, Australia.
Gamay produces vibrant youthful wine with hints of crushed strawberries and raspberries, as well as deep floral notes of lilac and violets. The wines are typically light-bodied and fruity – which is indicative of its origins – Pinot Noir. In fact, some Gamay wines of the Beaujolais region are supposed to taste more like Pinot Noir as they age.
In the wine making, due to the high acidity, Carbonic Maceration is the process commonly used. In this method the tanks are sealed prior to crushing the grapes and CO2 (Carbon dioxide) is injected. This accelerates the fermentation process and results in a light, fruity wine with low levels of tannin, which means the wine is great for early drinking but lacks the structure for long term aging.