J U R A
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
LOCATION & CLIMATE
The vineyards cover the whole Jura department area, 5,000 acres
The Jura department is located in Franche-Comte region of France
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
Today the vineyards of Jura are planted with 5 different grapes varieties
Planted in the Jura since the 10th century
Most planted white grape
43% of total vineyard area
Local names for Chardonnay
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
1st grape to harvest in the Jura
Represents 37% of all red planted, 13% total acreage
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"
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
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
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
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
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