First records of plantings in the Jura date back to 80AD 

In the 19th century the vineyard covered 50,000 acres and was planted with 42 grape varieties. At the end of the 19th century Jura was producing mainly red wine though today it is the opposite, with White grapes dominating the vineyards.

In 1879, Phylloxera hit and wiped out almost all of the vines. 

Several Jura locals have made a big impact in the wine industry and deserve to be recognised

Charles Rouget 1828-1899

Studied wine all throught his life, wine grower from Saint-les-Bains. Charles noticed that grape varieites with identical genetic makeup when planted on different sites and soils where named differently.

Alexis Millardet 1838-1899 
He is the mastermind behind the Bordeaux Mixutre, a solution used to fight against mildew 

Louis Pasteur 1822-1895
Chemist and microbiologist. Famous for this development of milk pasteurisation. Louis in the wine world can be thanked for identifying the responsible microbe for fermentation and named it Yeast! 

Alex Arpin 1867-1946 
A wine grower from Arbois, Jura. Fought against wine fraud that emerged all through out France in the early 20th century. Arbois was one of the first regions to receive AOC approval in 1936



The vineyards cover the whole Jura department area, 5,000 acres

The Jura department is located in Franche-Comte region of France


Mountainous Region


Located between Burgundy and Switzerland 


Climate Contiental with alpine influences 


Significant dirunal and seasonal temperature swings 


Grapes require a minimum of 1,400 of sunlight hours to ripen and the Jura region recieves more then enough at 1700-1900 hours per year


In order to protect the vines from the cold northly winds the vineyards aspects are South and South-West 


Geology & topography

Soil layers of shale, clay and limestone

175-150 million years ago
2 layers of shale, red and grey were covered with Bajocian limestone during the middle of the Jurassic period. 

200-175 million years ago Grey shale
Sandwiched between the Bajocian limestone and Red shale soils is Grey shale The grey shale is mixed in with oyster shell deposits that formed during the juarassic period 

200-175 million years ago Red shale
The bottom layer of soil of sub soil dating back to the Triassic period 


Most vineyards are planted on the slope

The vine is facing South and South-West in order to protect the vines from the cold winds coming from the North


Grey Shale

Red Shale


grape varieties

Today the vineyards of Jura are planted with 5 different grapes varieties


Savagnin Blanc


Pinot Noir



Planted in the Jura since the 10th century 
Most planted white grape
43% of total vineyard area
Local names for Chardonnay 

+Melon d'Arbois
+Gamay Blanc

Savagnin Blanc 
Produces traditional wine Vin Jaune, a wine similar in Sherry made with oxidative winemaking practises

Poulsard also known as Ploussard
Red grape used to make rose,white wine and Vin de Paille
Most planted red grape 
14% of total vineyard area
Native to the Jura 

In the L'Etoile AOC Poulsard is used to produced a white wine

Native to the Franche-Comte region
First planted in the Jura in the 18th century

Pinot Noir
1st grape to harvest in the Jura
Represents  37% of all red planted, 13% total acreage




Wine styles

The Jura produces a wide range of styles, dry red wine, white wine, cremant, sweet wines and fortified wine.


2 tradtional wines from this region are Vin de Paille and Vin Jaune. 

Aging White wine in Jura 


Ullage - is a winemaking term most commonly referring to the headspace of air between wine and the top of the container. The container could be a barrel, tank, bottle etc.


In the Jura white wines can be aged with or without ullage 


Without Ullage -  no head space 


As the wine aging evaporates the winemaker will top up the barrel to avoid air contact and oxidation.


This is a common aging practise for Chardonnay.


If the wine is aged in stainless steel tanks, the wine will not be exposed to oxygen


With Ullage - head space


Opposite applies, there is headspace in the container holding the wine, The winemaker does not fill up the barrel completely exposing the wine to air allowing for the development of yeast to surface that will metabolise several acids in the wine such as, ethyl acetate, tartaric, malic, lactic and pyruvic.


What the winemaker is doing is controlling the oxidation of the wine, allowing for the development of new aromas, walnut, hazelnut and spice. 


Grapes used are Chardonnay and Savanin Blanc


If the wine is a blended product they will usually label it "tradition



Vin Jaune 



Originated in Chateau-Chalon 


Today this wine is produced in Arbois, L'Etolie and Cotes du Jura AOCs


Only grape variety used is Savagnin Blanc 



Production process



After regular wine fermentation is complete the wine is stored for a minimum for 6 years and 3 months in oak casks. 


The wine is aged with ullage (controlled oxidation) allowing for a layers of surface yeast to develop and metabolise acids in the wine and turn them into aldehydes


This method of production creates a wine this a unique sherry characteristic. 


Over the 6 year period of aging a lot of the wine will have evaporated for the oak cask. The wine is sold in 620ml bottles called Clavelins. 


Vin Jaune is a style of wine and not an AOC



Vin de Paille (Straw Wine)


The grapes used to produce Vin de Paille are


Chardonnay, Poulsard, and/or Savagin blanc 


The grapes must be perfectly ripe and unblemished.


Grape clusteres are dried for a minimum of 6 weeks on a bed or straw or on wicker racks. 


Drying the grapes asllows the fruit to concentrate the sugars and flavour compounds. 


Once the grapes have dried they are pressed, fermentation is slow and the must (grape juice) is unable to ferment to dryness creating a naturally sweet wine with an alcohol level between 14-19%.


After the fermentation is complete the wine must age for 3 years in barrel allowing for the developmet of flavours and aromas of prune, honey, caramel and candied orange.


AOC's allowed to produce this style of wine are


Cotes du Jura, L'Etoile and Arbois


Labelling the wine "tradtional method" due to the long and particular production method. 


Vin de Paille is a style of wine and not an AOC




Arbois AOC 


1 of the first French wine regions to receive AOC status in 1936 thanks to Alexis Arpin as mentioned above in the history section. 


Largest AOC of the Jura, 13 villages


Soil, shale, clay, sand and limestone


5 grape varieties are all planted here 


Production is 70% Red and 30% White 


Chateau-Chalon AOC 


Is 125 acres of only Savagin Blanc only used for the production of Vin Jaune, In years where the grapes are deemed unsatisfacotry the wine will be declassified to the Cotes du Jura AOC 


L Etoile AOC 


Translates in the english word Star, AOC is named because it is surrounded for 5 hills that form the shape of a star. 


Chardonnay planted the most 

Savagin blanc 

Poulsard used is the production of Vin de Paille 


Cotes du Jura AOC 


2nd largest AOC, 105 villages


Producing mostly White wine and Cremant.


Both must contain atleast 50% Chardonnay and Savagin Blanc. 


Pinot Noir and Trousseau when vinified as white wine can be added to the blend although it is uncommon 


Vin de Paille may be a blend of Chardonnay, Savagin Blanc, Poulsard and Trousseau


Vin de Jaune is only made from the grape variety Savagin Blanc 


Macvin du Jura AOC 


Marc- is made from distilling Jura wine pomace, pomace is the soild remains of grapes. The Marc must be aged for a minimum of 18 months in barrel before it can be aded to the must to fortify the wine.




This production method and style dates back to the 14th century 


1/3 of the wine is Marc and is added to the unfermented grape juice to allow the wine to be fortified.


Age for a minimum of 12 months in cask and the final alchol level is between 16-22% 


All 5 grapes may be used for the production of Macvin and can be red or white.


Mostly White Macvin is produced


Cremant du Jura AOC


Recieved AOC status in 1995


All 5 grape varieties are approved though must come from Cotes du Jura, Arbois and E'Ltoile AOCs


Must be hand harvested 


90% White Cremant containing a minimum of 50% Chardonnay


Rose Cremant, minimum of 50% Poulsard and Pinot Noir 


26% of wine production in the Jura is Cremant produced in both Brut and demi-sec 





  • Black Instagram Icon
Follow Me