Driving to Alpine ski resorts or to the beaches of the Med, a really interesting deviation is a visit to the Jura wine centres of Arbois, Chateau- Chalon and Lons-Le Saunier. At Dijon make for Dole on the A39 or from Burgundy go directly East on the A36. The Jura wine region lies in the east-central part of France, near the Swiss border. The vineyards go along the foothills of the Jura mountains for 80 kms from the north to the south between Salins-les-Bains to St Amour. You can follow a sign posted Route Des Vins, stopping of at various vineyards and wine shops marked along the way. Besides a whole new range of wines and regional food restaurants to experience, there is fantastic mountain and lake scenery offering a range of sporting activities like mountain walks, canoeing, golf, and cave visits. Short Stay Tip stay overnight or concentrate your visit in the town ARBOIS - it is a mini - rustic Beaune and best introduction to regions wines.

JURA is Different. Unique and Interesting.

JURA Wine Region- A "Goofy" Gem - Remember from Walt Disney comics the marginal, but really most interesting character - Goofy. He was different. Goofy did everything different. In our neighborhood there were arguments over just what he was - not a dog, not a person, not any recognisable animal- Unique! Well, JURA is the equivalent as a French wine district. JURA is unique and different. Things are done differently there. The red and white wines taste wonderfully different. Some Reds are called Roses, wine cooperatives and even cheese factories are called Fruitieres, the signature wines of the region are unique - Vin Jaune and Vin de Paille. The Vin Jaune is even bottled in a special 62cl-clavelin bottle. Another difference which makes a visit worthwhile is that JURA wines are rare in export markets so when visiting be sure to stock up. Note - for French visitors - A big mistake was the renaming of Goofy to Dingo for the French market. Goofy is definately not a Dingo - ie Australian wild dog.

Ideal base for Jura Touring

Hotel des Messageries
2, rue de Courcelles, 39600 Arbois, France
Clean and comfortable. The hotel manager can assist with restaurant and touring advice. Central location means wine sampling can be done without driving. Makes the Jura Arbois experience easy to enjoy

Arbois (meaning fertile land), is the heart and capital of Jura wine region. Like Beaune, the town is a wine mecca with many wine shops, tasting rooms, restaurants that specialize in serving local wines with local food and a wine museum – Musee de la Vigne et Du Vin – Chateau Pecaud, 39600 Arbois – Tel 034 84 66 40 45. These wine attractions are complimented by many excellent and charming restaurants some on the banks of the Cuisance river that winds through town. In addition there are several gourmet food shops selling local cheeses and produce. It is on the outskirts of town going South towards Poligny or north to Montigny les Arsures that you find the vineyards. In Montignyy-les Arsures you can take horse rides through the vineyards. From the tourist offices in Arbois and Poligny you can get information on the beautiful wine and riverbank walks plus up to date information on vineyards open to visit and special events. Louis Pasteur grew up here - his house is open for visits - and his observations of Jura grapes and wine making form the basis of much of his research. He was probably thinking about Jura wine when he said- "Wine is the most healthful and most hygienic of beverages." With lots of hotels within walking distance to restaurants ARBOIS is the idea base for your Jura region wine visit. Leisurely evening meals can be followed by interesting walks viewing the cities ancient houses, towers, churches and a castle.
Office de Tourisme D’Arbois – 17 rue de l’hotel de Ville, 39600 Arbois – tel 0384 66 55 50. Here you can get information on guided tours of the town in July - August. Audio tours are available all year round or visit the town on your own (signposted tours with historic infromation.

Pupillin - 3 km from town of Arbois, Pupillin and its outskirts are a historic wine-growing village area with restored houses decorated with flora decorations . It claims to be the world capital of the Poulsard wine. Since 1936, Pupillin has been incorporated in the AOC Arbois appellation. It is the only village to have obtained in 1970 the legal right to associate its name to the Arbois name and obtain the Arbois-Pupillin appellation. Local restaurants feature Jura specialities and wines especially the village's Poulsards.

Poligny a busy crossroads village, is surrounded by vineyards, and the starting point for interesting vineyard walks – information from the Tourist Office Place des Deportes. 39800 Poligny, Tel 03 84 37 2421 Besides the interesting Clos des Ursulines, a cloister that is the remains of a 17th century convent, there are some good wine shops and restaurants. The villages real claim to fame is being the centre of production of Jura’s most famous cheese, Comté, a hard Gruyère-type of cheese. To learn all about this cheese and make purchases visit La Maison du Comté Avenue de la Résidence - BP26 - 39801 POLIGNY Tél : 03 84 37 78 40

Salins les Bains - interesting as spa town with thermal bath and other spa treatments available. Also for its historic ties with sale production. A few vineyards are located in the surrounding hills. For information on all these attractions stop at the Salins les Bains Tourist Office, Place des Salines, 39110 - Tel 0384 66 55 50

Chateau Chalon - Great place for lunch time stop - wine shops-restaurants- vineyard walk- great views. A short drive from Lons-le-Saunier, or Arbois is the beautiful medieval village of Chateau Chalon perched on a rocky cliff high above local vineyards. It’s a must stop if your touring the area, with stunning views, a 12th century church and feudal castle, shops and restaurants. The Savagnin vine vineyards growing on the steep hillsides produce the renowned "Vin Jaune" (yellow wine), which can be tasted in the local producers cellars and shops. .
Since ancient times, vines have covered most of the hillsides around Château Chalon. Their high quality wines was so appreciated by the Romans that an edict from the Emperor Probus in the year 280,stated that many more vines should be planted on these favourable hillsides. The history of the vineyards and the wine of Château Chalon, is linked to the history of the Abbey on the hilltop. The oldest reference found to this abbey is a deed from King Lothaire in the year 869. When you drink the wine you are appreciating a wine that was drunk by kings and emperors - Henri IV drank two bottles when signing his treaty with the Duke of Mayenne, and it was served for the enthronement of Tsar Nicholas II. Unique terroir and unique grapes - Savagin - produce Château Chalon's Vin Jaune with its signature tangy, nutty, faintly salty flavor and tremendous complexity. Situated between 250 and 400 metres above sea-level, the vines are planted on slopes, many steep. The vineyard soils are a blue and gray limestone marl. These help create a warm micro climate, which enables the grapes to ripen fully. The slopes face South to South-West, giving the best exposure to sun, and protection from wind.

Lons-Le-Saunier The capital of the Jura department and home to small cube popular cheese - the La Vache Qui Rit - Laughing Cow. Not a main wine hub like Arbois, but it does have an Interesting old town centre with the usual charming village shops. For tourist information go to the Office Tourisme de Lons-le-Saunier, Place du 11 Septembre, 39000 - tel 0384 44 62 47.