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Gamay: From Old World to New World


During Feast Portland, Inter Beaujolais gathered members of the trade and press for a blind tasting of Gamay-based wines from Beaujolais and Oregon

BeaujolaisNew York, NY, September 26th, 2016 – Beaujolais Wines, the French wine region best known for its Gamay-based reds, was excited to participate in Bon Appétit Presents Feast Portland, during which it held a side-by-side blind tasting of Gamay Noir wines from Beaujolais and Oregon, in order to discover how differently the grape might express itself according to its terroir. On September 15th, 2016, a group of members from the wine trade and press met at Cooper’s Hall in Portland, OR, to taste eight strikingly unique Gamay wines.

The results were unanimous: while Beaujolais’ reds displayed more fruit-forward characters, with flavors of red berries, Oregon Gamays featured more earthy, spicy and flowery flavors, specifically with notes of dust rose. Both Old World and New World wines revealed a mouth-watering acidity, allowing them to pair beautifully with a wide array of dishes.

“I was absolutely thrilled to taste such a huge diversity of wines from both Oregon and Beaujolais. This was a new experience for Inter Beaujolais and it was a real success: it was fun, educational and showed that Gamay Noir is an amazing grape variety capable of producing outstanding wines, each with their own characteristics depending on the terroirs and the way they are vinified. Gamay Noir really deserves to be considered as a noble grape variety. We all agreed on that,” says Antony Collet of Inter Beaujolais.

While Gamay Noir is an ancient variety that existed as far back as the 1300s in Burgundy, Oregon’s experience with the grape only started in the 1980s. To guide the tasting and conversation, Inter Beaujolais gathered several key players in Oregon’s relatively recent Gamay endeavors, including Thomas Monroe and Kate Norris of Division Wine; Advanced Sommelier Stacey Gibson, who led the blind tasting; and Doug Tunnell of Brick House Wine, who was one of the first to experiment with Gamay in Oregon:

“For the first time this year, I’ve had a half dozen winemakers from around the Willamette Valley approach us hoping to purchase some fruit from our Gamay Noir plantings…but I’m a bit greedy with it. My sense is that the American market is just beginning to fully appreciate the nuances of fine Gamay,” Mr. Tunnell commented.

About Wines of Beaujolais:

Bordered by the Bourgogne region to the North and the city of Lyon to the South, the rolling hills and plains of Beaujolais form a wine-growing area of 67 square miles. While Beaujolais does produce a small amount of whites and rosés, the region is best known for its versatile, medium to full-bodied reds – all single-varietal and mostly made of Gamay Noir à Jus Blanc – which account for 98% of all wines produced in the region. Beaujolais is made up of 12 appellations: Beaujolais (red, white and rosé), Beaujolais Villages (red, white and rosé), and 10 Beaujolais Crus (reds only: Brouilly, Côte de Brouilly, Régnié, Morgon, Chiroubles, Fleurie, Moulin-à-Vent, Chénas, Juliénas and finally Saint-Amour). Bringing together a small community of 2,600 winegrowers, the region has an average annual production of 22,454,623 gallons (120 million bottles) – including 7,925,161 gallons (40 million bottles) of Beaujolais Crus, 7,925,161 gallons (40 million bottles) of Beaujolais and 6,604,301 gallons (33 million bottles) of Beaujolais-Villages – of which 40% is sold to export to over 110 countries.

For more information about Beaujolais and its wines, please visit: http://www.discoverbeaujolais.com/.



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