To take full advantage of the Jura Mountains is to take time discovering and tasting products from its generous, characterful terroir.
Cheeses, wines, spirits, charcuterie… Authentic products with AOC, AOP or IGC labels offer you a delicious gastronomic and sensory journey.
VINEYARDS AND AOC WINES
The Jura Mountains also means vineyards and AOCs (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée): Arbois, Château-Chalon, l’Etoile, Côtes du Jura, macvin du Jura, mart and crémant du Jura, Bugey wines…
Let yourself be tempted by vin jaune (yellow wine), whose unique Clavelin bottle symbolizes “The Angels’ Share” evaporated during production, or vin de paille (‘straw wine’) – two precious nectars borne of the unique know-how of Jura’s vignerons. These tipples await you every year at the famous Percée du vin jaune, a popular festival.
You can also visit the Musée de Ia Vigne et du Vin located at Château Pecauld in the heart of Arbois.
From the Jura vineyards to Cerdon, from fruit orchards to the cellars at Château-Chalon, you will meet passionate winegrowers ready to share their know-how.
THE WINE ROUTE
Exploring vineyards and local appellations is a guarantee of fruitful encounters both human and sensory. During your getaway, hit the Jura or Bugey Wine Routes – insider itineraries featuring charming little villages and encounters with winegrowers who really love to share their passion!
The Jura Mountains are, above all, a basket well-stocked with great cheeses, of which Comté PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) is the flagship fromage. This hard cheese draws its aroma from the richness of the country flora, eagerly ruminated by Montbéliarde cows.
To better understand this unusual cheese, whose colour, texture and taste are never the same, you have to go deep into the heart of its production area – the green and flowery meadows of the Jura Mountains. It is here, on the Route du Comté, that you will be able to meet producers, exchange ideas and get to know the cheese’s taste and history.
The Maison du Comté in Poligny reveals the mystery of the cheese’s aromas as well as some trade secrets. And why not immerse yourself in a very special atmosphere by visiting a cheese cellar in Fort des Rousses or Fort St-Antoine, where thousands of cheeses mature patiently?
It is impossible to leave the region without buying yourself some Comté – carefully chosen according to your tastes – at a producer, cheese dairy or one of the many points of sale.
The Jura massif also has other renowned cheeses with a PDO such as Mont d’Or, Morbier and Bleu de Gex (a blue-veined cheese). Witness the production of the latter – ruler Charles Quint’s (Charles de Habsbourg) favourite cheese – at the Chézery-Forens Abbey cheese dairy, one of the four last Bleu de Gex producers.
…AND CULT CHEESES
There are the best-known cheeses, the ones with awards and labels, and then there are others… These are discreet but must-try cheeses, which characterise the terroir so well, such as the mythical, runny Cancoillotte, which can be enjoyed hot or cold according to your taste.
OH LA VACHE!
The Montbéliarde cow is intimately linked to Jura’s mountain meadows, whose herbs and flowers she loves chomping on. This gives the region’s cheeses their inimitable taste… and only Montbéliarde milk can be used to make the famous Comté.
Le sanglier is the name of the wood craftsman who makes the spruce straps that can be seen around the Mont d’Or cheese rounds. They prevent the cheese from running and give it a unique flavour.
COMTÉ: PORTRAIT OF A ‘GRAND FROMAGE’
Comté is characterised by its astonishing aromatic richness. The cheese does not have a uniform taste, because each round has a different aromatic profile according to its micro-region of origin, its season, the particular skill of the master cheesemaker, and the cellar in which it has been matured. All of which makes each Comté unique. In order to take on its own taste, Comté takes its time, maturing in a cellar for at least four months, often longer.
THE COMTÉ RULES
The Comté Routes are a network based on the close ties between Comté cheese and tourism in the Jura Mountains. From farms to ripening cellars and producers, you can discover its history and manufacturing process, and also meet passionate people who on a daily basis refine the cheesemaker’s traditions and savoir-faire. The Comté Routes also offer typical accommodation and surprising stays, to make the best of your holidays or excursion into Comté country!
DID YOU KNOW?
400 litres of milk are needed to make a 40kg Comté round, the equivalent of 20 Montbéliarde cows’ daily milk production.
Interested in finding out more?
See Montagnes du Jura to get in contact or read more