The Jura region is a very small area in eastern France between Burgundy and Switzerland. Today the Jura produces a majority of white wines along with some red, sparking, rosé and dessert wines from six appellations and five authorized grape varietals.
Authorized Grape Varietals:
- Savagnin - Sometimes called Naturé, this is typically blended with Chardonnay.
- Pinot Noir
- Poulsard - This grape produces a light bodied wine that is pale in color. This is usually blended with Pinot Noir or Trousseau.
- Trousseau - Native to the Jura, this grape produces a dark, tannic wine that is primarily used in blending.
Artois - Largest AOC, producing 70% of the Jura's red wines and 30% of its white wines.
Côte du Jura - Second largest AOC, using all five authorized grapes to produce white, red and rosé.
Château-Chalon - This region only produces vin jaunt, a dessert wine made from the Savagnin grape. After fermentation, this wine is aged 6 years and 3 months in wooden casks. Bottled in 620 ml bottles, this wine is similar to Sherry (although not fortified) with oxidative, nutty aromas along with very dry flavors of citrus and orchard fruits.
L'Étoile - Primarily producer of white wines from Chardonnay with some Savagnin, but also producing some red wines from Poulsard.
Marvin du Jura - Wines with this designation may be produced anywhere with the Jura region. All five grapes are permitted. Reds and whites are produced but the whites are more common. The wine is produced from must (unfermented grape juice) with the addition of one-third grape brandy (marc). Aged in casks for a minimum of one year, these wines are generally 16 to 22 percent alcohol.
Crémant du Jura - This is the designation of the Jura's sparkling wines. Although they may use all five grapes, 90% are white wines that must contain at least 50% Chardonnay. Rosés must be comprised of at least 50% Pinot Noir and Poulsard.