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Regions

Comprehensive description of all European growing areas, their grape varieties, traditions and legal rules with maps.

Description to Jura

The wine-growing region lies in the east of France between Burgundy and Switzerland. It has a long wine past, already documented by the Roman wine author Pliny the Elder (23-79), as evidenced by numerous Roman wine amphorae found here. The wine from this area was already very popular in the Middle Ages and one of its lovers was King Henry IV (1553-1610). Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) was born in the town of Dôle and it was in the town of Arbois that he carried out his pioneering research into oxidation and fermentation. Before the phylloxera catastrophe, the area under vines was more than ten times as large, at 20,000 hectares. At that time, over 40 autochthonous grape varieties were still being cultivated.

Weinberg bei Arbois im Jura

Today, the vineyards cover only around 1,900 hectares of land between 250 and 400 metres above sea level in the Jura département of the same name. They are concentrated on a strip of land about ten kilometres wide, starting from Arc-et-Senans in the north to Bourg-en-Bresse in the south. To the south lies the Savoy wine region, with which Jura is often considered to be a common wine-growing area. The harsh, continental climate with very harsh winters and changeable summers with many warm days is characterised by the Jura limestone mountains that give the region its name. A mitigating influence is exerted by the Lac Léman (Lake Geneva) to the east. The grape harvest often extends into November due to the different ripening periods of the grape varieties.

An enrichment (chaptalisation) of the wines is common practice. White wines are produced here to 80%, which are mostly oxidatively developed. The wines that are not oxidatively matured in small quantities are called "Ouillé". The most important white wine varieties are Chardonnay (here also Melon d'Arbois) with almost 50% of the total area, as well as Naturé or Savagnin Blanc(Traminer) for the famous Vin Jaune. The most important red wine varieties are Poulsard Plousard with 20% of the total area, as well as Trousseau Noir and Pinot Noir. Next to Vin Jaune, the second major Jura speciality is Vin de paille (straw wine). The region is also very suitable for the production of sparkling wine(crémant). Only two percent of Jura wine production is exported, the rest is consumed by the region itself. There are about 500 producers. The appellations are:

Picture: By Guido Radig - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

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