What makes the Jura wine region special?
Located between Burgundy and the Swiss Alps, Jura produces some distinctive and unusual wines, thanks to its local grapes Savagnin (known as Naturé locally), Poulsard, and Trousseau. Other main grapes of the region are Chardonnay (known locally as Melon d'Arbois) and Pinot noir which were brought to the region from Burgundy during the Middle Ages.
The soil in Jura is marl and limestone, and the climate is similar to Burgundy, but with longer, colder winters. Since the region is so cold, the growing season runs late, with harvests regularly occurring in November or even as late as December.
The most distinctive and famous Jura wine, without doubt, is the Vin Jaune ("yellow wine"). Made from the signature local grape Savagnin by a similar process to Sherry, the wine develops in barrels for over 6 years under a layer of yeast, giving it an intense flavour.
One of the most renowned Appellation d'Origine Contrôlées (AOCs) in Jura is Château-Chalon, a village perched on a cliff with a spectacular view. Only Vin Jaune made from the Savagnin grape around the village is qualified for this appellation. Nutty and exceptionally complex, Château-Chalon is probably the longest living of all vins jaunes.
Other AOCs in the region include Arbois, Crémant du Jura, Côtes du Jura, Macvin du Jura, and L'Étoile.