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Gamay

Gamay is a purple-coloured grape variety used mostly to make red wines, most notably grown in Beaujolais and in the Loire Valley around Tours. It is sometimes used to make rosés as well as sparkling wines such as Cerdon de Bugey. Gamay-based wines are typically light bodied and fruity. Wines meant for immediate consumption are typically made using carbonic maceration, where the grapes are fermented in whole bunches under a blanket of CO2, before being pressed, a method that emphasizes a bright fruitiness (and sometimes gives less desirable notes reminiscent of bananas). Wines meant to be drunk after some modest aging tend to have more body and are produced by semi-carbonic fermentation, where fermentation starts in whole bunches, before the grapes are gradually punched down, in a winemaking style closer to the burgundian approach. The latter are produced mostly in the designated Crus areas of northern Beaujolais (Morgon, Fleurie, Moulin-à-Vent, etc.) where the wines typically have the flavour of strawberries, cherries and spices.