The Jura is certainly not the most famous wine region in France. A very interesting one. The Jura produces some of the country's most curious wines. No commercial products for the masses, but unique wines with their own unique style. Jura is a mountainous region in eastern France, between Burgundy and Switzerland. Winters are cold and bleak, summers hot and autumn is long and sunny. You will find grape varieties that are not found anywhere else.
The typical Jura grapes are the white Savignan Blanc (not to be confused with Sauvignon Blanc) and the red Poulsard and Trousseau. The rest of the vineyards are planted with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir imported from Burgundy.
The Poulsard grape produces pale red wines. It is often mixed with Pinot Noir or Trousseau. The latter produces a deep red, fairly alcoholic wine and adds strength to a blend with Poulsard.
The Vin Jaune is one of the most remarkable wines from the Jura. Vin Jaune was already famous in the European royal courts in the Middle Ages. It is made from Savignan Blanc, in a special way. After fermentation, the wine is placed in large oak barrels, which are not completely filled. A layer of air remains in the barrel. This causes a veil of yeast (the voile) to form on the wine. This protects the wine against oxygen and therefore against spoilage. But at the same time the voile gives the wine all kinds of special aromas. Vin Jaune is deep yellow. It has a penetrating, ripe, sometimes slightly smoky scent of almond and other nuts. The taste is dry and surprisingly fresh, with a spicy touch. Vin Jaune can be kept for (many) decades. In 2012, a bottle of vin Jaune from 1774 was sold for almost 40,000 euros.
Vin de Paille and Macvin
Macvin is a relatively unknown Vin de Liqueur from the Jura. A sweet red wine fortified with brandy. A great wine to pair with French (blue) cheese.
Vin de Paille is made from late-harvested and then dried Chardonnay, Poulsard or Savignon Blanc grapes. They are refined wines with a deep golden, almost orange color. They smell of dried southern fruits and honey, but retain a remarkable freshness.