This is one of France’s most unusual and exciting regions. Culturally it is as much German as it is French and twice during the last 140 years or so has been a part of the former. It is one of France’s most spectacular regions to visit, with the splendour of the Vosges mountains complemented by the medieval architecture of many towns and villages. Unlike in other regions, the grape varietal plays a key element in wine labelling. The wines themselves can be piercingly aromatic and are quite unique in style. Although there are some substantial merchant operations and large co-ops the area is not a purveyor of bulk wine. However there is still a wide variation in quality and yields generally throughout the region are too high, with most wine still coming from over-productive sites on the plains. As elsewhere, who produced the wine is the key.
Jura & Savoie
The vineyards of the Jura in particular and Savoie produce some of the most strikingly original wines in France. They are steeped in tradition and relatively unknown outside of their homeland but some fine and very diverse styles are produced. The Jura is more marked by rolling hills than high mountains. The Savoie by contrast offers a magnificent backdrop with the Alps in the background. With the proximity of the ski fields and their thirsty winter tourists, much of what Savoie produces is disappointingly light and dilute. As in all regions though there are instances of really characterful wines being made. To enjoy the best both regions have to offer you are likely to have to visit in person.