Valdiguié is a red wine grape grown primarily in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France, where it is generally known by the alias Gros Auxerrois. In California it has been known as Napa Gamay or Gamay 15. Until 1980 Napa Gamay was believed to be the Gamay of Beaujolais, but following genetic analysis the name 'Napa Gamay' has been banned from U.S. wine labels since January 1999. Confusingly, both the Pinot noir clone Gamay Beaujolais and 'Napa Gamay' could be labelled 'Gamay Beaujolais', a name banned on labels from April 2007.
Other synonyms include Valdiguer, Cahors, Jean-Pierrou at Sauzet, Quercy and Noir de Chartres.
Valdiguié was first commercially propagated in 1874, although its origin is unclear. There are three main theories :
- M. Valdiguié (1745-1817) selected a seedling from the Merille variety
- Guillaume Valdiguié found it in the vineyard of a Templar monastery in Aujols
- Jean Baptiste Valdiguié found it in a vineyard in Puylaroque and sold it from 1874
It produces medium to large conical clusters of dark blue-black fruit. It is a high yielding vine that is fairly resistant to oidium (powdery mildew).
Cultivation and winemaking
- Christensen, L. (2003) Wine Grape Varieties in California Archived 2011-06-05 at the Wayback Machine University of California Agricultural and Natural Resources Publication 3419, Oakland, CA pp154-7. Lots of pictures
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) (1997) ATF-388, Gamay Beaujolais Wine Designation (92F–042P) Archived 2009-08-14 at the Wayback Machine as amended by ATF-388a Archived 2009-08-14 at the Wayback Machine.
- J. Robinson Vines, Grapes & Wines pg 204 Mitchell Beazley 1986 ISBN 1-85732-999-6
- Herbst, Ron and Sharon Wine Lover's Companion pg 222 (Barron's 1995)