Jurançon AOC, the solar wine.
At the foot of the Béarn peaks which ensure its good guard, the vineyard of Jurançon is one of the most southern of France.
Not far from Lourdes and Biarritz, in an area of hillsides at an average altitude of 300 m, the vineyard is spread over forty kilometers. It is made up of small plots nestled in sun-drenched valleys among some palm and banana trees, from the terraces of the Château de Pau to the grand Pyrenees.
To exploit the best terroirs often very steep, it can be planted in terraces that sometimes take the form of an amphitheater.
The silico-clay soil is rich in rolled pebbles carried by the torrents and Pyrenean glaciers.
The vineyard of Jurançon AOC is divided by an east-west line:
In the south the subsoil comes from marine sediments deposited before and during the formation of the Pyrenees.
In the North: Jurançon “poudingues”, calcareous pebbles and siliceous gravel clays.
The climate combines:
mountain rigor: vineyard conducted in “hautains” (trellising) because of the risk of frost.
The oceanic sweetness: good distribution of rains throughout the year that ensure a harmonious development of the vine.
the southern heat, and especially the beautiful Indian summer of Béarn and the wind from the south which allow the “passerillage”: technique of over-maturation for the elaboration of the great sweet wines.
History of Jurançon AOC
Two white wines of Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée AOC (Controlled/Protected Designation of Origin – CDO/PDO) since 1936 produced on 1000 ha of vines planted on the slopes, facing the grand chain of the Pyrenees, Jurançon wine draws its ancient roots in its royal history.
In the 14th century the princes of Béarn and the parliament of Navarre introduce the concept of “cru” according to the value of the parcels, first attempt of wine’s classification in France long before any other vineyards : the first protections to preserve the authenticity of Jurançon wines.
In 1553: at the birth of Henri IV – the future Bon Roy Henri – Jurançon enters the history of France. Lips rubbed with a clove of garlic and moistened with a drop of Jurançon, the royal baptized was breathed a vigor and a passion that no longer had to leave him.
The vineyard has gone through the centuries and many avatars of recent history to regain its nobility thanks to a dynamic research of quality.
Some key dates of the appellation Jurançon AOC:
• 1936: creation of the AOC Jurancon. One of the first AOC created in France.
• 1975: creation of AOC Jurançon Sec (Dry Jurançon).
• May 10, 1996: creation of the mention “Vendanges Tardives” (“Late Harvest”). Jurançon and Alsace are the only wine areas to have it.