When one thinks of the Willamette Valley, rolling green hills and some of the best Pinot Noir in the world probably come to mind. Cool and wet for the majority of the year, the Willamette Valley has taken embraced its perfect climate for the various Pinot grapes and since the ’90s has taken up another Burgundian delicacy, the under-the-radar Gamay Noir grape.
Originally coming out of the Burgundy’s Beaujolais region, there has never been a better time to embrace the varietal that produces this light-bodied, fruit forward and lush wine than with I Love Gamay on May 1 and 2 in Portland. Whether you’re looking to branch out and try something new or a previous proud Gamay fan, taste and get to know Oregon Gamay at the two day event featuring nearly two dozen Gamay producers. To build your excitement about wine, get familiar with the raved about red by enjoying one or all of these five Oregon Gamay Noirs.
2014 Ridgecrest Vineyards Gamay Noir, Ribbon Ridge | Chehalem Winery
With subtle hints of Douglas fir, beets and with more forwards notes of raspberry and cherry, this Gamay coming out of Newberg, Oregon, screams juicy and is perfect for spring nights out of the patio soon to come. With sustainable practices and a desire to preserve tradition through innovation, Chehalem is one of the top stops in Oregon for Gamay lovers and curious newbies alike.
2015 Twelve Oaks Estate Gamay Noir, Chehalem Mountains | Anne Amie Vineyards
Suggested to be paired with roasted vegetables, a hearty slab of steak or a soft spreadable circle or brie, this lush Gamay brings out the boldest of flavors in whatever is set down on the table. With berry flavors at the forefront of each sip including raspberry, strawberry and a tart black current, the lingering note of tobacco brings a rich smoky and earthy fullness to the wine.
2015 RENARDIÈRE Gamay Noir, Eola-Amity Hills | Division Wine Co.
Located in the heart of Portland, this urban winery is bringing the PNW pieces of Beaujolais with influences from the French wine regions that Division Wine owners fell in love with prior to opening up in the Rose City. Known for their tart and fruit-forward Gamays, Division Wine is successfully bringing the under-rated grape to the bustling Portland wine scene one bottle at a time.
2014 Gamay Noir, Eola-Amity Hills | Methven Family Vineyards
Planted in small lots to keep the consistency and excellence of the grape, this Gamay from Methven Family pairs perfect with your favorite spicy food. A perfect example of a happy marriage between tart and sweet, hints of strawberry and red current make this Gamay Noir an easy sipper.
2014 Gamay Noir, Eola-Amity Hills | Grochau Cellers
Using fruit from organic and sustainable vineyards in the Willamette Valley, this silky smooth, bright and fun Gamay is full of strawberry and cherry notes with an after taste of subtle vanilla. Mirroring after the Gamay wines that owner John Grochau experienced while racing bikes throughout France, Grochau Cellers is bringing their own Oregon twist and taste to the traditional French wine.