The best wines from Jura

Located in eastern France, this wine region lies between the famous wine region of Burgundy and the Swiss border. Jura is characterized by its beautiful landscape of wooded slopes and the meandering contours of the Jura Mountains. Despite its proximity to the Swiss Jura, this small region has a unique identity.

Five grape types grow in the Jura, which are Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Savagnin, Trousseau, and Poulsard. Vin Jaune is always bottled in a distinctive, squat 62cl Clavelin bottle. In particular, L'Etoile, home to one of Jura's most prestigious appellations, takes its name from the star-shaped fossils found in its limestone-rich soils, similar to geological formations in Chablis and the upper Loire Valley.

All wines in Jura

The terroir of Jura wines

The climate of the Jura is similar to that of the Côte d'Or or southern Alsace. Warm, dry summers and cold winters are accentuated by marked differences between valley and hill sites. Altitudes ranging from 200 to 400 meters favour a continental climate which is ideal for viticulture.

While the eastern mountainous areas are elevated, the viticultural centres are located in the slightly lower western regions. Most vineyards occupy south-facing slopes, optimizing sun exposure in this mild climate. The geological heritage of the Jura region, named after the Jurassic period, profoundly influences its vineyard conditions. the vineyards that are located on the slopes of the mountains in Jura benefit from a variety of limestone compositions.

The grapes of wines from Jura

In Jura there are five major grape varieties cultivated which is a mix of traditional and modern varieties.

Poulsard (or Ploussard), occupies about one-fifth of the region's vineyards and is favoured for dry reds and the occasional sparkling rosé.

Trousseau (another native red grape) thrives in sun-drenched locations and accounts for just five percent of Jura's vineyards, mostly in Arbois.

White Savagnin is ubiquitous in all appellations and essential for the esteemed Vins Jaunes aged under le voile yeast veil, especially revered at Château Chalon AOP.

While Jura boasts a historical association with the sweet Vin de Paille, Chardonnay, known locally as Melon d'Arbois, and Gamay Blanc together dominate nearly half of the vineyards.

Jura: the different wine styles

The wine producing area offers a diverse array of wines, including red, white, rosé, crémant, vin jaune, sweet wine and brandy. These offerings, along with Vin de Paille dessert wine and Macvin brandy, come from three AOC appellations within the region. Notably, Vin de Paille is made from dried grapes, while Macvin and Vin Jaune adhere to different regulations.

Crémant du Jura, made using the traditional Champagne method, is made primarily from Chardonnay grapes, often blended with local varieties such as Poulsard. Vin Jaune, the Jura's prized oxidative wine, is aged for at least six years under a protective veil of yeast. Vin de Paille, or "straw wine," is a luscious dessert option made from dried Chardonnay, Savagnin, Poulsard and Trousseau grapes. In addition, Marc du Jura undergoes double distillation and barrel aging, while Macvin du Jura blends grape must with Marc du Jura, adding to the region's diverse wine portfolio.

The classifications of wines from Jura

There are multiple Appellations of Controlled Origin (AOC) in Jura. However, the main wines are sold under five appellations.

The first is the oldest and most extensive AOC named Arbois, the Côtes du Jura AOC stretching from north to south and embracing a diverse range of wine styles. Also, the Château-Chalon AOC which is renowned for producing Vin Jaune, and the AOC which is distinguished by its Chardonnay is L’Étoile. In addition to these AOCs, there are also Protected Appellations of Origin are recognized namely, Macvin du Jura PAO, Marc du Jura. PAO, and Crémant du Jura PAOs.

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