France: Jura

Around Lons-le-Saunier

Château-Chalon, l'Etoile and the southern Côtes du Jura
By Wink Lorch

This Guide was last updated on 25 June 2014
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La Percée du Vin Jaune

The most important wine festival in the Jura, La Percée du Vin Jaune attracts up to 50,000 people and takes place over the first weekend of February. It celebrates the release of the 'new' vintage of Vin Jaune (6 years and 3 months after the harvest). The main processions and ceremonies are a sight to behold and take place on Sunday morning. On Saturday and Sunday afternoons around 60 wine producers have indoor stands set up with wines to taste, though be warned, they can be very busy. Food stands and restaurants are available. There is also an auction of old vintages of Jura wines on the Saturday afternoon. If the weather is dry, the atmosphere is amazing (even though it may be very cold!). The festival is in a different town or village each year. Buses are laid on from car parks outside the village/town. The next event will take place in Montigny-les-Arsures, just north of Arbois on Saturday 31 January and Sunday 1 February 2015.

Useful information: Details from Vins du Jura (see ‘Usefull Information’). Entry charge usually about €13.


La Pressé du Vin de Paille

If the thought of attending La Percée du Vin Jaune with all those thousands of people is too much for you, and you are near the Jura in winter, try this festival on a much smaller scale, held on the closest Sunday to the 22nd January, the Saints' day for Saint Vincent, patron saint of vignerons. Held in the middle of the delightful village of Arlay (whose church's patron Saint happens to be St-Vincent), this festival celebrates the pressing of the grapes to make Vin de Paille. A church procession in the morning, wine tastings from several producers, food stalls, an art and book exhibition and lunch (of course) are all available. The highlight of the day is the demonstration of the pressing of the grapes using an old press, all over seen by Alain de Laguiche from Château d'Arlay and the Bourdy brothers.

Useful information: Details usually confirmed in December at


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