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General Information

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 climates. Beside Arbois, the principal wine growing area in Franche-Comté, some others are Champlitte, Charcenne, Roche and Raucourt, and the Loue valley.
The region boasts several grape varieties (Poulsard, Chardonnay, Pinot, Savagnin and Trousseau), four geographical appellations (Arbois, Côtes du Jura, L'Etoile and Château-Chalon) and two product appellations (Macvin and Crémant du Jura).
The Wine Museum of Franche-Comte is located in the town of Arbois, wine making capital of the Jura. The museum is housed in the "Château Pécauld", medieval castle which is part of the remains of the city walls, and organizes courses and wine tasting sessions.

 Jura wines and Franche-Comté liquors
  Wines and Liquors  

Vin Jaune

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.

Tips: This superb wine keeps well for 50 years and more. If possible, open the bottle half a day before drinking. It accommodates some local specialities such as "Coq au Vin" or trout fish. It is delicious served with Comte Cheese, nuts, goose liver or dried fruits.

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 straw bed, 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 which then ferments slowly before ageing in oak casks for 2 to 3 years. It reaches between 15 and 17 percent alcohol content.

Tips: Quite rare and expensive, this wine is a great pick me up with medicinal benefits. It is best served chilled as aperitif, dessert or with "Foie Gras" (goose liver). It can be kept for 50 years.

Macvin du Jura

Dessert or aperitif wine of amber color, the "Macvin" is made from grape juice blended with Franche-Comte "Eau de Vie" liquor. Its maturation process takes at least 12 months in oak barrels. It can reach up to 16 to 22 percent alcohol content.

Tips: It is best served chilled as an aperitif and is perfect with melon. It can be kept for 25 years.

Rosé and Red Wines

The red wines owe their nobility to three prestigious varieties of grape used in their production: Poulsard grape for finish and fruit, Trousseau grape for body and tannin, and Pinot Noir grape for color and smoothness. They are aged from one to three years in oak barrels. The wine is well-structured, light in color and with a fruity flavor.
The rosé wines are produced by red-wine vinification of the Poulsard grape, strictly from the Jura wine region.

Tips:
Rosé of Arbois and Pupillin have fruity flavour and are best served slightly chilled. It is perfect throughout a meal. In its maturing process it turns pink, locally described as onion peel colored.
Trousseau, served at room temperature, is perfect with meats, game and cheese. It will keep for 20 to 30 years.
Poulsard, served at room temperature, is excellent with appetizers or with regional "Charcuterie". It can be kept for ten years.

White Wines

The white Jura wines are produced from two grapes: Chardonnay and Savagnin. These two varieties are vinified alone or combined. The Chardonnay, which is the main grape used for the white wines in Jura, produces flowery and fruity wines. The Savagnin is the King of Jura's varieties.
Their color varies from pale yellow to straw. During their aging in oak casks for up to four years, they acquire the characteristic Jura bouquet.

Tips: Served at room temperature, they go well with entrees, fish and regional dishes cooked in cream and cheese sauce.

Crémant du Jura

The Jura wine region was awarded the appellation Crémant du Jura in 1995. This sparkling wine is produced from the Chardonnay, Poulsard, and Pinot Noir grapes and follows the same strict rules as Champagne. It comes in Brut or Demi-Sec, white or rosé, from L'Etoile, Arbois or Côtes du Jura.

Tips: Served chilled as an aperitif, plain or with blackcurrent syrup, with dessert or throughout a meal. It is ready to drink on its release or can be kept a maximum of 10 years.

Pontarlier Anis

Essentially produced in Pontarlier, the capital of Haut-Doubs region. It is an aperitif drink, based on green anis seeds.
There is a strong similarity between Pontalier Anis and Absinthe or "Green Fairy", an aperitif with a very high alcohol content which was banned in 1914.

Tips: Mixed with water when served.

Kirsch

Made from cherries, Kirsch from Franche-Comte is mainly produced in two different locations.
The village of Mouthier-Haute-Pierre, located in the Loue Valley in Doubs department, is known for its kirsch made from sweet black Marsotte cherries. The one made in Fougerolles in Haute-Saone department is famous for the quality of the Guignes cherries used.

Jura Mountains Liquors

Pine or gentian flower of the Jura Mountains are used to make these popular liquors, produced mainly in Haut-Doubs.
The pine liquor is made from tender shoots, picked up in June in the surrounding of Pontarlier. The green liquor is usually sold in a caracteristic wood-like bottle.
The gentian liquor is made from the bitter roots of this mountain flower.

Eau de Vie de Marc

One of the top class liquors in France, the eau de vie de marc is obtained by distillation of remainder of pressed grapes. It gets its yellow color from being aged in oak barrels. They were promoted to AOC status for alcohol liquors.

Tips: Served chilled, at the end of the meal. Can be kept for 50 years and more.

 
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