"Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing''.Ernest Hemingway
Jura / Savoie Regionview region wines
The reputation of the Jura vineyards, whose origins can be traced back to the last years of the first millennium, has never ceased to grow. They often benefit from extraordinary micro-climate. Beside Arbois, the principal wine growing area in Franche-Comté, some others are Champlitte, Charcenne, Roche and Raucourt, and the Loire valley.
The region boasts:
Several grape varieties
Four geographical appellations
- Côtes du Jura
Two product appellations
- Crémant du Jura
The most popular wines are:
This exceptional and unique wine characterized by its deep yellow color is made with Savagnin grape only and produced in its birthplace of Château-Chalon as well as Arbois, L'Etoile and Côtes du Jura. It matures for six years in oak casks and thus comes out with a peculiar "nutty" taste before to be sold in a special bottle, the "clavelin", closed with wax and containing 62 cl, quantity remaining from a liter of wine after 6 years of aging.
Vin de Paille
Vin de Paille or "Straw Wine" is a rich, deep golden or amber, sweet dessert wine made in small quantities by only some producers because of the laborious process. Harvested by hand, the Chardonnay, Savagnin and Poulsard grapes are selected and picked individually at the beginning of the harvest to produce this specialty of the Jura. Once dried on strawbed, nowadays the grapes are either left on racks or suspended in a ventilated place, for 2 months or more, where they reach 80% dehydration. After pressing the grapes, 18 liters of must is obtained for 100 kg (220 lb) of grapes that then ferments slowly before ageing in oak casks for 2 to 3 years. It reaches between 15 and 17 percent alcohol content.
Savoie is the name of an old country annexed by France in 1860. The traditional frontiers of Savoie have not changed since the annexation: Savoie lies East of France, West of Italy, and South of Switzerland and Lake Geneva, at the crossroads of the Alps. Savoie measures approximately 100km (60 miles) across, and 150km (90 miles) North to South.
The wines are mostly white, made from grape varieties:
- Altesse (also known as Roussette)
- Roussanne grapes
There are also some (relatively light) reds made from:
- Gamay Noir
- Pinot Noir
Rosés and some sparkling wines are made from Gamay.
The Savoyard appellations (labels) are distributed through four departments:
Crépy near Lake Geneva and Seyssel in the Ain are easy to locate. But wines labelled Roussette de Savoie and Vin de Savoie can come from anywhere in the wine growing area, unless the label display the name of a village in addition to the appellation.
There are 4 Roussette villages: Frangy, Monthoux, Marestel and Monterminod. And there are no less than 17 "Vin de Savoie" villages, the most well known being Apremont, Chignin, Chautagne and Arbin.
Most Savoy wines should be enjoyed young particularly the white wines from Jacquère grapes, which produce light wines that are all flowery and fresh. Much richer and more structured, varietal wines from Roussette reach a balance after 2 or 3 years of aging. The same goes for Mondeuse which ages remarkably well and soften their tannins as time goes by.view previous region view next region