Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Ultimate Guide to the Jura Wine Region

Jura Wine History and Culture


Natives to the Jura region, especially in the chief village of Arbois, have been producing wines in the region since the 13th century. And while they've certainly improved on the practice over the centuries, some of the traditions remain the same. Much like their ancestors, today's citizens of the Jura region are fond of red wines cultivated from the Poulsard grape, a native to the Jura region [source: UK Wines Online].

Much like the Poulsard grape, Vin Jaune is also unique to this region, and holds a special place in the culture of the native people. Every February, a different village in the Jura region hosts the Percee du Vin Jaune. The weekend festival is a celebration of the unique wine and the particular region in which it is produced. Though the weather is often dreary, tens of thousands of people attend the festival annually. The culmination of the festival occurs on the final day, when the first barrel of the yet-to-be released Vin Jaune is opened [source: Lorch].

Throughout the festival, the entire village is overwhelmed with wine producers, enthusiasts, critics and locals. Due to the regional specifics required to make Vin Jaune, most of the producers call the Jura region their home, and, with the exception of the harvest season, the small town atmosphere remains and visitors can tour the vineyards without scheduling an appointment in advance. Because Vin Jaune is not readily available in most of North America, many connoisseurs plan trips to visit the festival, as most of the producers offer hefty samples of nearly all of their wines, including the relatively obscure Vin Jaune [source: Lorch].