Office de Tourisme des Coteaux du Jura
Office de Tourisme des Coteaux du Jura

AOC and Grapes Varieties

Jura wines are the wines of our terroir, produced from 5 different grape varieties and counting no less than 6 AOCs.


The AOC 

The Jura vineyards stretch over a 100 kilometres from north to south of the department along the foothills of the Jura Mountains. They cover 1850 hectares with 5 different grape varieties (red and white), which in turn have produced six Appellations d’Origine Côntrolée (AOC):

- 4 Geographic AOC:

L’Etoile (specializing in white wines), Chateau Chalon (only Vin Jaune), Arbois and Côtes du Jura (all colours of wine).

-  3 Products AOC :

The Macvin, the Cremant du Jura and the Marc du Jura, which are present throughout the wine producing region, represent specific skills and techniques.

On the slopes of the Haute Seille, the following AOCs can be found: Chateau Chalon, Cotes du Jura, Macvin and Cremant.

  • On the « Haute Seille » slopes : Château-Chalon, Côtes du Jura, Macvin et Crémant.
  • On the slopes near Lons : : Côtes du Jura, Macvin, Crémant, Marc du Jura.
  • Around « l’Etoile » :   l’Étoile, Côtes du Jura, Macvin, Crémant, Marc du Jura.


The grape varieties

The Whites

Two white grape varieties are planted in the Jura; the Chardonnay and the Savagnin.

Almost 50% of the vines planted in the Jura are Chardonnay, which is the most widely grown variety in France and in Europe. The bunches of grapes produced by this vine are medium sized and composed of small grapes. Originally from Burgundy, this variety has been cultivated in the Jura for centuries.

Savagnin grows well on the grey marls of the Jura. It represents a little more than 20% of the vines grown. The bunches produced are short with small, rounded grapes with thick skin. A native variety, it is the last to be harvested each season.


The Reds

The red and rosé wines are produced from three grape varieties: Poulsard, Trousseau and Pinot Noir. Two of these, Poulsard and Trousseau, are typically Jurassian.

  1. Poulsard is grown on 20% of the area under vines (?). Used on its own it gives a fruity red wine, smooth and clear, sometimes called “rubis” or rosé.
  2. Trousseau is a difficult variety. It is only grown on 5% of the area under vines and principally in the northernmost vineyards. It gives a wine that is full and generous and that will mature well.
  3. Pinot Noir is originally from Burgundy. It covers around 10% of the area under vines. It is vinified on its own or used in order to enhance the colour and body of Poulsard.


Vin jaune : the yellow gold of the Jura...

Vin Jaune (yellow wine), previously called “vin de garde” or wine to keep, is made uniquely from the Savagnin grape variety. It is produced under the AOCs of Arbois, L’Etoile, Cotes du Jura but principally under the AOC Chateau Chalon, birthplace and grand cru of this wine.

The 50 hectares of the AOC Chateau Chalon are cultivated in the communes of Chateau Chalon, Menetru-le-Vignoble, Domblans and Nevy-sur-Seille.

The character of Vin Jaune is linked on one hand to its “terroir” and the use of the Savagnin grape only, and on the other, to its specific method of production. During the ageing phase of its production, which is carried out in oak barrels for a minimum period of 5 years, part of the wine evaporates (called “the angel’s share”) and a layer of yeast is formed on the surface. This acts to protect the wine from oxidation and gives it its very special and unique taste, the “goût de Jaune”.

The wine is then conditioned in a very specific bottle, known as a “clavelin”, which contains 62cl, as opposed to the standard 75cl.

Since 1997, the celebration of the “Percée du Vin Jaune” has taken place on the first weekend of February. This festival changes location each year to another winemaking village in the Jura. It is a huge festival organized in honour of this exceptional wine at the moment when the symbolic barrel is pierced at the end of the obligatory period of maturing before selling (6 years and 3 months).

More information on this great festival. 


Vine conservatory : a means of conserving viticultural heritage...

In 2007 a project to create a vine conservatory in Chateau Chalon was launched. The aim is to conserve the viticultural heritage of the past generations that has been passed down.

It is a long term project (10 to 15 years) which will enable the conservation of the biodiversity of vines for future selection.

This vine conservatory is one of the largest in France. There are around 50 different grape varieties which are essentially Jurassian.

The conservatory is tended by the winemakers with the help of the municipality of Chateau Chalon and of the Community of Communes of the Coteaux de la Haute Seille.

However, it is important to note that wines can only be made from these vines on an experimental basis. It is possible to obtain information on the vine conservatory during a group guided tour of Chateau Chalon – Contact : Christelle This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or +33 (0)3 84 24 65 01.


The certification "Vignobles & découvertes"

The certification « Vignobles & découvertes » is attributed to a touristic and wine-making destination according to strict criteria of quality and diversity of the offer.

Around 150 Wine makers in the Jura vineyard are engaged in a quality and sharing procedure around the discovery of the vineyard (through activities, introduction to Jura wine tasting…).

On “les Coteaux du Jura”, Wine makers, members of the Tourist Office , have the certification « Vignobles & découvertes ».

Go and visit them !