Gamay was originally grown in France’s Touraine region, in parts of the Loire valley and, most famously, in Beaujolais. However, the soils of the Geneva countryside now also yield a particularly fruity Gamay. Some Geneva vineyards, such as those around Peney and Peissy, produce a Gamay that can be vinified to keep for five years or longer. Like all the other reds from the Domaine des Balisiers, our varietal Gamay is matured for a year at the winery before it goes on the market. Gamay is the leading red varietal produced by Geneva winemakers. It is primarily a mealtime wine to accompany cold-cuts, white meats and poultry. Unlike most reds, it can be served slightly chilled. It is a ruby-coloured wine with a distinctive fruitiness, typically featuring notes of raspberry and blackberry.
Gamaret is an original Swiss grape variety, a hybrid that was first bred towards the end of the 20th century by Switzerland’s Federal plant breeding/viticultural centre at Changins. It was initially used only in blends with Pinot Noir and Gamay. Over the past decade or so, however, it has gained ground across the Geneva vineyards in its own right. Our Lune Rousse is 100% Gamaret. It is the produce of some six acres planted with this variety near the Geneva suburb of Plan-les-Ouates. It is matured in our winery’s clay amphora for 15 months. Its characteristically dark red colour plays a prelude to its strong tannic expressiveness and low acidity. Lune Rousse makes a marvellous companion for various meat and spicy dishes (tartare, curries, Thai cuisine, venison stew). One taster, Oenologist Raul Cruchon in Echichens, described it as “The most wonderful Gamaret I have ever tasted!” Another, Sommelier Raymond Paccot of Féchy, exclaimed: “What a body! Such intensity and promise!” A third, the wine reviewer for the French daily Le Monde, commented: “This is an unusual wine ... still imbued with the subtlety of its primeval substance, tannins just begging to turn smooth, a dry essence with incredibly potent aromatic potential ... Amazingly successful, a great wine for ageing.”
Pinot Gris grapes are instantly recognizable from their pinkish hues, which give the pressed juice an amber colouring with a faint tinge of orange. At the Domaine des Balisiers, this variety is exclusively cultivated in carefully selected soils within the Peissy appellation of origin and at the Château de Sierne. Our varietal Pinot Gris is pale with a greenish sparkle. It is very full-bodied with sweet notes of golden apple and pineapple underscored by remarkable strength. The finale is fresh and lemony: “… finesse, purety and harmony!” (24h) This wine makes a particularly good aperitif, but it is also often served with vegetable terrines, foie gras, arctic char or filleted perch. It can be enjoyed young but has an ageing potential of three years.