It's not just baby Jesus who was born on straw. To make a good straw wine using the traditional technique, the grapes are dried in the fresh air on a bed of straw. Follow us, we take you into the history of this unique wine!
The discovery of straw wine
The making of straw wine
Beyond its golden color and its authentic name, straw wine has strong arguments for being among the prestigious wines in France. From the harvest, straw wine is a little lucky because, to make it, the winemaker selects the most beautiful grapes bunch by bunch.
To obtain a good wine with a high concentration of sugar , alcohol and tertiary aromas ( candied fruit, honey, caramel ), winegrowers have discovered a very special technique, passerillage . This technique consists of dehydrating the grapes . The winemaker exposes it to the sun on a bed of straw in the open air and in a dry place . Dehydration , we know it well . After an afternoon in the sun looking for that perfect tan, our bodies dry out and our throats scratch, crying out for some cool water to get the machine going again. The grape does not have the right to its glass of water to refresh itself, it is left in the open air for a minimum of 6 weeks and this can last up to 5 months.
Historically, passerillage took place on beds of straw , hence its name. Today it is most often carried out on racks ( wooden, wicker, plastic or metal trellis ) in a place protected from humidity . Once pressed , the wine ferments for 3 years, with a minimum of 18 months in small wooden barrels. And yes, a straw wine is worth it!
“The game is worth the candle Larmina” (do you have the OSS 117 reference?) because these wines with their unique aromas attract covetousness and curiosity from all over the world. The pompom on the Garonne, or rather on the Bienne, is that straw wines are excellent wines for laying down . Their high sugar and alcohol content are ideal for storage and allow them to last more than 50 years in the bottle . A beautiful birth gift to open on your 50th birthday, don't you think?
The controlled production of straw wines
Deprived of part of its water, the grape sees its size shrink at breakneck speed. As after a well-started diet, it floats in all its pants. On the other hand, its aromas and its sweetness take up space for the greatest pleasure of our palates . Once pressed, 100 kg of grapes only yield 18 to 25 liters of must. When we love, we do not count! One thing is certain, with straw wine you don't get fooled because this appellation is very controlled. Only three AOCs , controlled designations of origin (or AOP, protected designation of origin) in the Jura have the right to bear the prestigious and traditional mention of straw wine , Côtes du Jura , Arbois and Etoile . The Rhône Valley also has the privilege of offering a wine made from straw wine, the AOC Hermitage . The yield is set at 20 hl per hectare but no limit of love and know-how is imposed, which allows the winemaker to transmit all his passion through this delicious beverage.
The grape varieties to produce a straw wine are also controlled. Among the flagship grape varieties of the Jura , only a blend of Poulsard , Chardonnay , Trousseau and Savagnin is authorized . If you want to taste good Pinot noir from the Jura , you will have to turn to other wines, such as a Côtes du Jura Pinot noir . In the Rhône valley, the Roussanne and Marsanne grape varieties are authorized.
The particularity of this wine also lies in its container. The legendary Jura half-bottles contain 37.5 cl of pleasure . Thanks to the golden color of straw wines, you would think you were holding a real gold ingot in your hands.
Tasting a straw wine according to the golden rules
At Oé, we often like to talk to you about food and wine pairings , our favorite recipes and our tasting tips . We love the simple pleasures of life and we love sharing them even more. Today, we are talking about straw wine because it is a sweet and syrupy wine that goes perfectly with fruity desserts , foie gras , chocolate and cheese . You will find on this site a whole list of the best accompaniments for starters, main courses and desserts to go with a good straw wine .
The Jura and its straw wine
The Jura , this magnificent region where lakes and mountains draw an idyllic landscape, is also home to authentic vineyards which are the pride of the region.
(Source, Château-Bethanie, Fruitière winery Arbois)
Revermont is a bit like “ the county ” of middle-earth in The Lord of the Rings . You know, that unique place where Hobbits live in harmony with nature, where the grass is so green and pleasant that they don't wear shoes, and where the weather is mild and pleasant, ideal for planting fruit and vegetables.
Between the mountains of the East and the plains of the West, the Revermont is nicknamed by the most poetic of us “ the beautiful country ”. It's dreamy, isn't it?
On these low altitude hills (150/200 meters), the vines are smiling and the hillsides are ideal for good sunshine . The quality of the Jura soils , made up of limestone , marl and clay , offers a very light and pleasant minerality on the palate for the great wines of the Jura . This very particular terroir allows a real typicality to these niche wines unlike mass-market wines .
During the 20th century, phylloxera , an insect pest of vines , took pleasure in decimating almost all of the Jura vineyards . Fortunately for the heritage of this beautiful region and for our taste buds, some vines have fought like irresistible Gauls. From 20,000 hectares of vines at the beginning of the century, the area of cultivated vines rose to 1,900 hectares at the end of the century. The region is mobilizing to help independent winegrowers get back on their feet and help them produce quality wines. This magnificent region also has strong allies in its ranks with sumptuous wine estates such as Château-Chalon, which inspires the younger generations.
Organic viticulture in the Jura
A real land of exchange, the Jura is an example in terms of ecological transition . Winegrowers like to learn how to take better care of their soil and their vines. They share viticulture and vinification techniques to convert from conventional viticulture to organic viticulture and from conventional vinification to organic vinification . Today, 15% of Jura vineyards are organic, and we applaud that!
The life of wine in the Jura
We are well aware of the mythical organic vintage that takes place in Montpellier every year, moreover Fx and Valérie from the team went there last year. The Jura is also a fan of trade shows and wine fairs where the atmosphere is festive and wine is honoured. “ La Percée du vin jaune ” is an unmissable festival that takes place every year during the first weekend of February. We advise you to go there if you have the opportunity, you will not be disappointed!
Yellow wine is also a signature wine of the Jura. This alter ego of straw wine is a dry wine produced from a single varietal . If you want us to write an article about it, don't hesitate to tell us on our social networks or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
To travel to other wine regions, we also offer our range of red wines, white wines and rosé wines. Discover our flagship appellations such as Côtes -du-Rhône , Languedoc , Bordeaux , Vaucluse Principality of Orange and Méditerranée de Provence .