Located to the east of Burgundy and to the south of Alsace, the Jura is both a mountain range and wine region located on the French and Swiss border. Being in such a remote area has insulated the Jura over time from outside cultural and economic influences, and allowed the Jura to produce wine from historically traditional grape varieties rather than transitioning to grapes that became more popular and economically important as the wine world expanded.
There are several regions within the Jura that can be used on the label, with the most common appellation being Côtes du Jura. White, red, and rosé can be made under this appellation from Poulsard, Trousseau or Pinot Noir for red wines, Chardonnay and Savagnin for white wines, and all five grapes for the rosés. These wines tend to be much lighter in style than Burgundian wines due to the cool climate and shorter growing season resulting in less sugar accumulation in the grapes. The Jura also produces sparkling wines made from Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Poulsard, Pinot Noir or Trousseau under the Crémant du Jura appellation, made in the traditional method as they are made in Champagne.
There are three village appellations within the Jura, and each is known for a slightly different style of production. Arbois is considered to be the top village appellation within the Jura and makes more concentrated and complex styles of wine that can be similar to wines labelled under the Côtes du Jura appellation. L’Etoile is a white wine only appellation and these wines are often made in a semi-oxidative fashion, with less fresh fruit-driven characteristics and nuttier, bruised-fruit components. Château-Chalon is a region that is known for its vin jaune, or “yellow wine,” that is deliberately oxidized over the period of years and is somewhat similar in style to wine that is produced in the Sherry region of Spain.