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Everything you always wanted to know about wine but never dared to ask

Nicknamed "l'Or du Jura", yellow wine owes its fame and typicity to its unique and mysterious elaboration process. Let's discover the secrets of this wine that Louis Pasteur tried to break through!

The legend about the origin of yellow wine

The origin of this beverage remains very mysterious. Legend has it that its discovery was a coincidence. When a winegrower found a forgotten barrel in the bottom of his cellar, he would have had the beautiful surprise of discovering a precious golden nectar! It would have been a shame to spoil it, especially since yellow wine is now considered one of the greatest wines in the world.

The secrets of yellow wine making

C'est quoi le vin jaune ? - blog Les Grappes
CDT Jura / Stéphane Godin

Its grape variety? Yellow wine is a dry white wine made exclusively from the local grape variety, the Savagnin. Only four appellations of controlled origin (AOC) are authorised to produce it: Arbois, Côtes du Jura, Château-Chalon and Etoile.

Its elaboration? Yellow wine owes its typicality to its unique production process. After fermentation, it is kept for six years and three months in oak barrels without topping-up, i.e. without completing the part of the wine that evaporates, better known as the famous "part of the angels". A veil of yeast will then form on the surface of the wine, protecting it from oxidation by avoiding direct contact with the air. This unique and mysterious process of elaboration gives this wine its typical aromas.

Its bottling? As atypical in its shape as in its capacity, clavelin is the only container authorized for bottling this little-known wine. Created to measure at the request of winegrowers in the 18th century, this unique bottle has a capacity of 62 cl, which is about what remains of a litre of wine after its ageing.

Tasting of the yellow wine

C'est quoi le vin jaune ? - blog Les Grappes
Tourism of the Jura

The eye: Bright and clear, the colour of the yellow wine is adorned with a beautiful golden colour. Nose: Typical and intense, the bouquet of this wine is expressed on aromas of fresh nuts, dried fruits and sweet spices with delicate floral notes. Palate: Rich and powerful on the palate, this wine offers a balanced structure with aromas of nuts, green apple and spicy notes. Tasting suggestion: To appreciate all the richness of this little-known wine, it should be drunk slightly warmed and ideally between 15-16°. Food and wine pairing: This wine can be enjoyed as an aperitif but also goes perfectly with foie gras, shellfish or poultry with cream. It is also used in cooking and in particular in many Franche-Comté specialities: the famous coq au vin jaune or the tasty trout in yellow wine. Our opinion: We also love it with exotic cuisine, especially with spicy curry dishes.

The tradition of the Breakthrough of Yellow Wine

La Percée du Vin Jaune fête ses 20 ans ! - blog Les Grappes
Breakthrough of the Yellow Wine, Bruno Lyet

Every first weekend in February since 1996, the Jura vineyard honours its precious wine. Now a major wine event gathering nearly 400,000 visitors each year, the Breakthrough of Yellow Wine celebrates the opening of the first barrels of yellow wine. After six years and three months of ageing, the wine expresses all the power and richness of its aromas for the pleasure of many amateurs and curious. In 2016, the Breakthrough of Yellow Wine celebrates its 20th anniversary with a rich edition combining festivities and traditions. On the program: traditional parade and ceremony of the Breakthrough of Yellow Wine, meetings with the winegrowers, tastings, cooking competitions, sommelier competitions, etc.

Louis Pasteur's work on yellow wine

C'est quoi le vin jaune ? - blog Les Grappes
Pasteur Institute

If Louis Pasteur is famous for the development of the rabies vaccine, we know much less about his work on wines. Around the middle of the 19th century and at the request of Napoleon III, Louis Pasteur undertook in-depth studies on the conservation of wines. A native of the Jura and a great wine lover, he naturally became interested in the resistance of yellow wine during its ageing in casks. This is how Pasteur will show the link between the yeast veil on the surface of the wine and its exceptional conservation capacity! Speaking of yellow wine, Louis Pasteur stated that "The careful study of this wine and all the conditions of its production is one of the ones that have enlightened me the most about the general properties of wines. »

Quentin (Les Grappes)

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