hidden europe 58

The Taste of Yellow: Wines of the Jura

by Nicky Gardner

Picture above: The village of Château Chalon in the French Jura is the place from where some of the very best examples of vin jaune hail (photo © Zimneva Natalia / dreamstime.com).


Could you imagine paying more than €100,000 for a bottle of wine? Not any bottle of wine, but a bottle of vin jaune (yellow wine) from the French Jura. And a wine that was made before the French Revolution. We discover a French rarity that takes decades to reach maturity.

The River Seille is not one of France’s great rivers. This left-bank tributary of the River Saône rises in the Jura and in its upper reaches is known especially for its good trout. Stand on the old stone bridge at Nevy-sur-Seille and you can watch the trout in the river below. Some of those trout, inevitably, end up on the dining-room table, where the classic local dish is truite au vin jaune — trout, either whole or filleted, served in a sauce made from the local yellow wines.

Wines come in many colours beyond merely white, rosé or red. There are golden-hued old Sauternes, the amber wines of Istria, the orange wines of Georgia, the red-brown blush of Sicilian Marsala and the intriguing yellow wines of the Seille Valley.

Any roll call of France’s great wine-producing regions would surely include Burgundy, the Médoc, Champagne and that blessed stretch of the Rhône between Vienne and Valence. Some might throw in the Loire or Alsace, but it would take a real wine buff to suggest that the Seille Valley in the Jura might possibly warrant a place in the premier league of French wine regions.

This is just an excerpt. The full text of this article is not yet available to members with online access to hidden europe. Of course you can read the full article in the print edition of hidden europe 58.
Related article

Focus on fish

Many a coastal community, and even one or two inland spots, have realised that there's no better way to promote trade and tourism than through a colourful display of freshly landed fish and other seafood.