Jura

Grape Types

Chardonnay is one of the most widely-grown and versatile of all white grape varieties. As a relatively neutral grape, it offers a near transparent map of winemaking style, climate and terroir. It is the ideal grape variety for Burgundy, where it serves to mirror the complex nuances of the myriad of terroirs found in this hallowed land. Chardonnay produces a variety of wines from the minerally and unoaked styles found in Chablis, the fatter nuttier examples in Meursault, to the tropical fruit-driven versions found in the New World. It is also the major grape variety in Champagne, where it produces lively floral wines, namely in the Côte de Blancs. It can be found throughout Europe and the New World thanks to its versatility. As a non-aromatic variety, it has an affinity with oak, whether new or used, French or American.
Poulsard is a red-skinned French grape variety that is a specialty of Arbois in northern Jura. Thin skins and pale coloring are the most obvious traits of Poulsard, while delicate perfumes are a lesser-known quality. Red wines produced from Poulsard may be so lacking in color that they are mistaken as rosé, and indeed white wine (Blanc de Noir) can be made from it by limiting skin contact.

Poulsard buds early and is at serious risk from spring frosts, especially because its skin is thin. Long ferments are typically used in production to draw out as much flavor as possible. It is often blended with Gamay, Pinot Noir and Trousseau.

Poulsard is an interesting variety in that it is used to make white, rosé, red and sparkling wines. The most common incarnation of the variety is red skinned, but white, pink and black musqué mutations have been documented.
There are various styles of Sauvignon Blanc from the fragrant, fresh Loire Valley style reminiscent of cut-grass, gooseberry, flint and nettles, to the contrasting Bordeaux-style, often blended with Semillon and Muscadelle and barrel-fermented to produce the richer, if less assertive, food friendly dry whites of Pessac-Leognan in the Graves. At the same time, it is also a vital component in the sweet, rich and luscious whites of Sauternes and Barsac. As a dry wine it has sprung to particular fame in New Zealand where it is made in a very pungent, expressive style with notes of kiwi passion fruit and mango. While South Africa has also had great success with the variety. Generally considered for youthful consumption, age-worthy examples can be found in Bordeaux, and the Loire from the likes of Didier Dagueneau and François Cotat.
Savagnin Blanc (not to be confused with Sauvignon Blanc) is an ancient white wine grape from the sub-alpine regions of eastern France.