Gamay wine grape

Strawberry-scented Gamay is the Beaujolais grape, and is not much planted elsewhere.  It originated in Burgundy in the Middle Ages, and is yet another child of the union between Pinot Noir and the now almost extinct Gouais Blanc, along with Chardonnay, Mélon (the Muscadet grape) and more than a dozen others.
There is still a little in Burgundy where it is allowed to make up to 70% of the blend, with Pinot Noir, of the little-known Bourgogne Passetoutgrains appellation.  But straight Pinot fetches higher prices, so Gamay vineyards are being replanted to Pinot (or to Chardonnay).  Even the once Gamay-based red Mäcon, from the south of Burgundy, is now mostly Pinot.
But further south still, in the granite hills of Beaujolais, it found its true home.  There it produces irresistably fruity and floral light reds for drinking young, although from villages like Moulin à Vent and Morgon it can make more serious wine that, as it ages, becomes more like Pinot Noir.
Gamay buds, flowers and ripens early, making it very well suited to cooler climates.  Outside of the Burgundy region, Gamay is important in high-altitude Savoie and Switzerland, and is a major component of some of the light reds of the Loire.

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