Nestled in between Burgundy and Switzerland, Jura is France’s smallest wine region. Although Jura only has 1,950 hectares under vines, they produce about 11 million bottles of wine annually. Since the region is dominated by the forested Jura Mountains, they have the geographical advantage of being detached from the rest of France which allows them to continue working with certain traditional wine styles and varietals. With a continental climate and harshly cold winters, Jura mainly produces Poulsard (Ploussard), Trousseau, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay (Gamay Blanc), and Savagnin (Traminer) varietals.
Some of Jura’s most well known appellations are Côtes du Jura AOP, Crémant du Jura AOP, Arbois AOP, and L’Etoile AOP. Côtes du Jura produces red, white, and rose wines, as well as local specialties vin jaune, considered “yellow wine” and made exclusively from Savagnin, and vin de paille, also known as “straw wine,” which is typically sweet and can be made with any of Jura’s grapes except Pinot Noir. Known for sparkling wines, Crémant du Jura uses méthode traditionelle where Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and/or Trousseau must make up a minimum of 70% of the cuvee. Both Arbois and L’Etoile are communal appellations, with Arbois being the leading wine village within Jura that produces all styles of wines. Meanwhile, L’Etoile, named after a local fossil shaped like a five-point star, only produces white wines that are bottled late in an oxidative style.