Before our visit, we’d never heard of Jura, Jura wines or Chateau-Chalon. Pictures of the village were featured in a German motorcycle magazine so we decided since it wasn’t too far away, we’d take a trip out there to see if the area lived up to the hype. Voted one of the 100 most beautiful villages in France by the Ministry of Culture, the rustic medieval town of Chateau-Chalon sits nestled atop a hill, surrounded by vineyards below and farmlands, mountain lakes and breathtaking waterfalls only a few kilometers away.
Within the Franche-Comte region of France, is the Jura district. Located across the border from Switzerland and about a 2 hour drive south of Strasbourg, Jura is home to a lesser known wine region. It is lesser known, because the wine is not exported internationally in great numbers. The Jura mountains are not only ideal for producing wine, they also features several grottos, lakes and waterfalls. It is a wonderful area to enjoy nature trails on foot or by bicycle and every season offers its own variety of activities. The regional cuisine includes local terrines, wines, fish, and the Bresse Chicken which is a chicken breast stuffed with mushrooms and served with a white sauce made using Vin Jaune (and is delicious).
Tradition rules in this area. Wine festivals can be found throughout the year, celebrating the harvest and the vintage. To the villages of Jura, wine is a part of life – as directed by the Bible – and must not be abused. The rules for producing wines are taken very seriously. In fact, it was in this region, that the first wine cooperative was born. The popular bank, Credit Agricole was born from the movement to create wine cooperatives.