Definition - What does Gamay mean?
Gamay is a red Vitis vinifera grape originating from the Beaujolais region in France, where it is famously used to make the first-harvest wine, Beaujolais nouveau. It is also grown in the Loire Valley where the wines are blended with Malbec and Cabernet Franc. It is cultivated for its high yield and vigor. The fruit is known to make acidic wine which can be softened if cultivated in acidic soils.
WineFrog explains Gamay
The Gamay (Its full name is Gamay Noir à Jus Blanc.) grape originated from France, however, today it can be found in Australia, Oregon and Canada. It grows best in cooler climates where it can maintain its signature acidity. And because of its ability to produce an abundance of fruit, it is often used in other regions, as it is in Beaujolais, for fruity wine to be consumed within a few months.
The cultivar can be traced back to the 14th century found in the Beaujolais region just south of Burgundy. It was a grape which could easily be grown and helped growers get back to their livelihood following the Black Plague.
The wines it makes has been compared to Pinot Noir, however, Gamay is much easier to grow and can be harvested earlier.