Wine tours to Jura are rare… and a study trip like we are offering next fall is simply unique and won’t be repeated any time soon!
Wine Study Tour Highlights
Don’t miss this unique opportunity to travel through the key appellations of this authentic wine region of France with a true expert and fabulous instructor!
- Enjoy guidance and instruction from award-winning author and Jura wine expert Wink Lorch
- Travel to key wine appellations including Arbois, Château-Chalon, l'Étoile and Côtes du Jura
- Dive into the many local grape varieties: Chardonnay, Savagnin, Poulsard, Pinot Noir and Trousseau
- Taste rare and distinctive wines, from oxidative white wines known as Vin Jaune, inimitable fresh and fruity white wine, fragrant red wine to vin de paille (straw wine) and Macvin (which are fortified wines)
- Get access to some of the most prestigious and sought-after small wine producers
- Enjoy the gorgeous scenery of lakes, mountains, castles and stunning hilltop villages like Château-Chalon
- Indulge in the renowned, rustic and authentic cuisine of the Jura…smoked meat, delicious matured Comté cheese, fondue, honey, morels...
- Enjoy staying at the region’s top Relais & Chateaux hotel with gastronomic dinners at their Michelin-starred restaurant.
Become one of the few to understand and master the wines of this authentic part of France!
Travel with like-minded, committed students of wine, whether serious wine hobbyists or wine professionals, and share with us an unforgettable educational, epicurean and enlightening experience!
Our tour guide, author Wink Lorch says: “In the past few years, the wines of Jura have reached almost mythical status, for several reasons. The Jura wine region is the smallest in France, yet it has by far the greatest diversity of wine styles and incidentally producer characters too. A beautiful rural region, the wines seem to breathe both authenticity and rarity, which place it on the ‘must visit’ list for wine lovers. Finally, the sheer quality of the ethereal reds, good-value sparklings, terroir Chardonnays and unique oxidative Savagnins and Vins Jaunes make the region a wine student’s Mecca.”
Your instructor & Guide: Wink Lorch
- Author of the award-winning book, Jura Wine
- Contributor, writer and editor for numerous wine books and magazines
- Highly qualified and experienced speaker and presenter
Your Tour Manager: Brett Jones
Assisting the instructor and making sure logistics run smoothly and that your needs are answered will be Brett Jones.
Brett has many years of wine experience, including as owner of a popular wine bar in England. He’s a member of the UK Association of Wine Educators, a recommended tutor for the Wine and Spirit Education Trust, and leads wine tours in Jura and other wine regions.
Day 1, Sunday
- Participants arrive independently in Besançon and check-in to 3-star Hotel de Paris.
- Evening on your own with our suggestions for fine restaurants.
Day 2, Monday| Arbois | B, L, D
- Meet the group and your instructor, Wink Lorch, in the lobby of your hotel, and set off for the vineyards.
- Today you’ll explore contemporary and biodynamic Jura producers around AOP Arbois.
- At producer Domaine A & M Tissot, Stéphane Tissot will take you into his vineyards and cellar and discuss his biodynamic viticultural techniques during a tasting of his fine wines.
- Stop for a delicious lunch at Brasserie Aux Docks in Arbois.
- Visit biodynamic producer Domaine du Pélican, a relatively new estate owned by Marquis d’Angerville of Burgundy.
- Your last stop today is Domaine de la Pinte, another biodynamic estate in Arbois
- Check into beautiful 4-star Chateau de Germigney, a member of the prestigious Relais et Châteaux group.
- Your welcome dinner is at the hotel’s Michelin 1-star restaurant, accompanied by top Jura wines.
Day 3, Tuesday| Château-Chalon, L’Etoile, Arlay | B, L
- Traditional Jura is the subject of today’s visits, including producers in AOPs Château-Chalon and L’Etoile, as well as in the village of Arlay in AOP Côtes de Jura.
- One of the most emblematic products of the Jura is Comté cheese - you’ll visit a top Comté producer to learn how this great cheese is made, and enjoy a tasting.
- Visit organic producer Domaine Berthet-Bondet, a fine classic producer in Château Chalon.
- Afterward, Wink will lead the group in a short walk through the hilltop village of Château-Chalon.
- Lunch of regional cuisine at Le P’tit Castel.
- The Château d’Arlay represents centuries of tradition – it’s been a family estate for nearly 1000 years! You’ll visit the Château and taste their classic wines.
- Round out the day at the star producer of L’Etoile, Domaine du Montbourgeau, which boasts one of the longest-serving women winemakers in Jura.
- Return to your hotel for a free evening and dinner on your own with our restaurant suggestions.
Day 4, Wednesday| Southern Jura, Côtes du Jura | B, L, D
- Travel to the Southern Jura and appellation Côtes du Jura today.
- Visit an organic producer like Domaine Labet or Marnes Blanches, including time in the vineyards.
- Enjoy a casual lunch at La Table de Perraud in the Jura capital town, Lons-le-Saunier.
- The afternoon holds a visit to Domaine Pignier, an excellent biodynamic producer with a Cistercian cellar, and afterward one of the great traditional producers with new generations at the helm like Domaine Baud, Domaine Grand, or Domaine Badoz.
- Your farewell dinner is at your hotel’s great restaurant, matched with the finest Jura wines.
Day 5, Thursday| Arbois, Pupillin & Montigny | B, L
- Today, experience Jura’s modern, practical side, beginning with a visit to the Cave Co-operative Fruitière Vinicole d’Arbois.
- Move on to Pupillin and visit one of the best small producers, like Domaine de la Borde or Domaine de la Renardière.
- Enjoy the creative cuisine at Restaurant Grapiot in Pupillin.
- This afternoon, you’ll visit an estate that represents a compromise between the traditional and the modern, like Domaine Frédéric Lornet or Domaine Dugois, Montigny-les-Arsures.
- Transfer late afternoon to the train station in Besançon.
* Itinerary subject to change: every effort will be made to keep the itinerary as close as possible to what appears here; however, the final itinerary and estates/winemakers included may vary due to wine producer schedules, availability and factors beyond our control. The wine estates visited during this trip will all be of the highest quality. As soon as we have confirmation from the estates that have accepted our visit, we will include them in the itinerary.
Hotel rooms: we are staying in small, historic hotel on this trip. As a result, the rooms will not all be exactly the same, and they may also be in different categories. We will assign hotel rooms in the order of sign-ups for the trip. All rooms will be very comfortable and have the same services (en-suite bathrooms, A/C, WiFi, etc.).
Legend for meals included in your tour: B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
Domaine André et Mireille Tissot – Stéphane Tissot
Stéphane converted his parents domaine to biodynamics over a decade ago and now has 50 hectares mainly in Arbois, but also in Côtes du Jura and Château-Chalon. Known for his energetic approach and constant experimentation, he makes a huge range of wine styles, always searching for new or more expressive ways to make his wines reflect their terroir. He was one of the earliest in the Jura to make a range of single vineyard Chardonnays and when we meet Stéphane he will give us a tasting of these while explaining each of their different terroirs.
Domaine du Pélican, Montigny-les-Arsures
This domaine was created by the Marquis d’Angerville of Volnay in 2012, taking over some vineyards that were already run along biodynamic lines and converting others. Then in 2014 they took over the vineyards of the famous vigneron Jacques Puffeney, who was retiring. All the vineyards are close to the estate and with great attention to detail they make a range of pristine wines, including a topped up Savagnin, Chardonnay and a blended red. We will meet one of the co-owners and long-term manager and winemaker of the Volnay estate, as well as the Jura estate, François Duvivier.
Created by Jean and Chantal Berthet-Bondet in the 1980s this Château-Chalon domaine recently converted its vineyards to organic growing methods and daughter Héléne has joined the estate. A pristine range of wines includes a light red blend, a topped up (ouillé) Savagnin and excellent oxidative whites culminating in the Château-Chalon, aged in a perfect Vin Jaune cellar below the house, which is a restored priory in the centre of the village.
The Pignier family own extraordinary Cistercian cellars in Montaigu, a village above Lons-le-Saunier, Jura’s capital. The cellars lie beneath their tasting room and are used to age their Vin Jaune. They have other old cellars close by, which they use for their main vinification and ageing of their exciting biodynamic range of wines. Recently they have started making some wines in concrete eggs and they use ever-more adventurous natural techniques. This Jura estate epitomizes the exciting dynamic of the Jura that combines ancient historical techniques with modern thinking to protect the environment and express terroir to its best effect.
Château Béthanie – Fruitière Vinicole d'Arbois
The wine co-operative of Arbois groups together over 200 vine-growers and was one of the very first wine co-operatives established in France, founded in 1906. The co-op vinifies all the Jura grapes and makes a wide range of wines of a very good average quality, mainly within the Arbois AOC. Since 1962 its main winery and offices have been based at the rather grand Château Béthanie in the centre of town and it has a classic oxidative Chardonnay-Savagnin blend and an unusual Crémant du Jura made under this name. The co-operative also owns huge Vin Jaune cellars, which we will visit.
Domaine Baud Génération 9
Recently, sister and brother, Clémentine and Bastien, still in their 20s, have taken over running of this estate in Le Vernois, a large wine-growing village north of Lons-le-Saunier. As the name indicates, they are the ninth generation of the Baud family to be involved in winemaking, following on from their father, Alain Baud, a leading light in evolving the Jura AOCs over the years and his brother Jean-Michel. The estate of over 20 hectares includes sectors in AOCs L'Etoile and Château-Chalon as well as Côtes du Jura. This is a rare estate where one can taste and compare Chardonnays from different appellations, as well as both Côtes du Jura Vin Jaune and Château-Chalon.
Domaine Marnes Blanches
Géraud and Pauline Fromont are one of many, young organic wine estates in the southern sector of Jura, called the Sud Revermont, having established their estate in 2006. From mainly old vineyards, their excellent range of traditional and modern Jura wines are made in pristine, new cellars, using minimal intervention. They have a particularly interesting and rare clone of Savagnin, among their vineyard treasures and have quickly built up a fine reputation for the quality of their range.
The northernmost village of the Arbois AOC, Montigny-les-Arsures has to be the one in the Jura with the most great characters and Frédéric Lornet is certainly one of them. While his wines are somewhat under the radar, he was one of the first to export to both the USA and China. In a painstakingly converted Cistercian abbey, he makes a poised range of wines with stars including a pristine Savagnin Ouillé, named Naturé (he was one of the early producers of this style) and sturdy Trousseau des Dames from an old vine selection created with his father decades ago. His Vin Jaune is exemplary too.
Comte Alain de Laguiche manages the stately home and wine estate, which has a history going back centuries. The vineyards lie below the ruined 13th-century hilltop fort and the current house and wine cellars were built in the 18th century. Records show this to be one of the earliest places recorded anywhere to grow Pinot Noir, but Savagnin thrives here too for a classic Vin Jaune. A complete range of Jura wines is made with the speciality that all are aged for several years before release.
Domaine de Montbourgeau
Stars abound at this wine estate in the village and appellation of L'Etoile (meaning 'The star'). No-one knows for sure if the village is named after the 5 hills that surround it, forming a star shape, or the star-shaped fossils in the soil. This terroir is renowned for white grapes, especially Chardonnay and Nicole Dériaux at Montbourgeau makes Chardonnay and Savagnin wines like none other. Matured in large oak vats, she manages oxidative ageing with a fine touch.
Domaine de la Pinte
Just outside Arbois below the village of Pupillin, this large estate was created in the 1950s, and a magnificent barrel-ageing cellar was built. It is unusual in that from the start a large proportion of Savagnin was planted and today this is used not only for Vin Jaune but also for a range of long-aged topped-up Savagnin. All the other Jura varieties are grown too and the estate is also known for its light reds and excellent Chardonnay. The whole estate was converted to organics in the late 1990s and then to biodynamics from 2009.
Domaine de la Renardière
This small estate was founded by Jean-Michel Petit over 25 years ago in the village of Pupillin, renowned as the 'capital of Ploussard'. In this tight-knit vigneron village, where almost all the estates are now organic, the Poulsard grape is always named Ploussard. With the obvious exception of Vin Jaune, Jean-Michel does not like oxidative whites and makes elegant Chardonnay and topped-up Savagnin with minimal intervention and they really express the terroir here. Of course, Ploussard is another important speciality and Jean-Michel always has surprises to taste.
- Instruction throughout by Jura wine expert Wink Lorch, author of Jura Wine
- Deluxe, air-conditioned motor coach transportation throughout, with bottled water on-board
- 1 night at 3-star Hotel de Paris in Besançon, double occupancy
- 3 nights at 4-star Château de Germigney in Port Lesney, double occupancy
- 2 gastronomic dinners with fine wines at a Michelin 1-star restaurant
- 4 gourmet lunches with fine wines
- 4 delicious breakfasts
- All professional-level tours and tastings at top-quality wine estates
- All hotel and other taxes, and gratuities for included restaurants
Price per person, double occupancy: US$ 3,695.00
Single Supplement: US$ 395.00
Deposit upon reservation: US$ 1000.00 per person, per trip
Get US$ 150 off each additional trip you take!**
NOTE: There are a limited number of twin rooms available (2 single beds). Please let us know if you’d like to share a twin room with another participant to avoid the single supplement and pay the double occupancy price instead.
**After you have reserved your first study trip in 2017 you will receive a discount of US $150 for each additional study trip you take in the same calendar year. This discount will be deducted from the final balance payment for each additional study trip. You must pay for the first study trip in full to be eligible to receive the discount for additional study trips.
Space is limited to 15 participants, so reserve your space today!
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Enjoy memorable meals at Gastronomic restaurants
The following quiz is part of the WSG's French Wine Scholar study & certification program. Enjoy!