That’s right, you read correctly. Dinosaurs and wine share the region of Jura. Unfortunately that is where the commonalities end, but since our obviously click baity title has you hooked now so you might as well read on. But really, the Jurassic period was named after the wine making region of Jura, where the Jura limestone was first linked to this dinosaur period of history in 1795 after the discovery of fossils in the region. Although Dinosaurs were not in anyway involved in wine making, we think this is kind of cool, and all sorts of images of a tiny armed dinosaur trying to open a bottle of wine are coming to my mind. I digress.
We recently opened a bottle* and were met with a smell that you might usually associate with wine that has been open too long, and gone a bit gash. Incidentally this was not the case with this wine, from the Dinosaur hood itself; Jura in France. This little wine region in France, nestled between the Swiss border and Burgundy, is producing wine with such character and intrigue, you will literally be left scratching your head. Dont scratch too hard though, you will hurt yourself.
Jura marches firmly to its own beat, steering clear of mainstream grapes and sticking to Savagnin, Poulsard and Trousseau, with a peppering of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. They are famous for their Vin Jaune, yellow wine, which was cool and desirable before orange wine and is truly something else!
I have scouted out some little facts about the region below for you:
Area under Vine: just under 2,000 hectares. This is after that pesky phylloxera munched through most of the vines. Pre-phylloxera munching there used to be approx 10 times the number of vines there are today.
Average no of bottles per year: 11 million
Number of wineries: Around 230
Average altitude of the vineyards: between 200-400 m
Soil: Dinosaur rocks! Just kidding, but it is Jurassic marl on limestone, making it over 150 million years old! I KNOW. That explains the funky styles, the Jura wines are being infused with Dino flavour through the terroir.
Grapes: I touched on these earlier but I have broken them down here; White: Chardonnay 43%, Savagnin 23% – Red: Poulsard 14%, Trousseau 11%, Pinot Noir 7%, others 2%
Appellations: These are according to different villages in Jura and are as follows; Arbois, Château Chalon, L’Etoile, Côtes du Jura, Crémant du Jura, Macvin du Jura, Marc du Jura
Jura is the smallest of Frances wine producing regions, but it is not lacking in style, flavour and a great heritage that goes way back to when dinosaurs walked the earth.
- we will try to remember to post a blog about our taste of this wine