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February 10, 2004

Percée du Vin Jaune (Jura)

Welcome to Cramans , that hosted the 2004 " Percée du Vin Jaune " , a ritual ceremony that goes well with this authentic Jura wine . Cramans is a 429 inhabitants village in the Jura departement , not far from Arc et Senans . Each year a different village is host to the 2 days festivities.First , it must be said that the Jura wines owe much to Henri Maire , a Jura wine producer , who died last nov 2003 and that beginning in the 1940's and 1950's , and all his life did all the work to keep the Jura wines quality high, organise rules and make these wines known outside the region ...

The Jura wine region is one of the smallest wine regions in France. The "Vin Jaune" accounts for 7% of the wines produced in this region but its aura is much bigger. This wine, made with the Savagnin grape variety, is aged 6 years and 3 months in 228-liter casks. In other parts of France, wine is added regularly to replace the wine that evaporated through the wood, otherwise the wine would turn to vinegar. With the Vin Jaune, nothing is added and although a sizable pocket of air develops in the casks, the quality of the wine is not altered. The wine grows a sort of veil at the surface, which contains bacterias and which sort of protects the wine from oxydation. After 6 years and 3 months at minimum (some keep it longer in casks), the casks are open and bottled. The first cask of the harvest 6 years earlier is pierced (percée) after a ceremony at the local church, and poured and drunk among the people present : That is what is called "la Percée du Vin Jaune" .
This year it happens in Cramans, next year it will be in another village. During two days, the place fills up with joyous people, of different generations, mostly from surrounding Jura, and also from Burgundy. This year the weather was very cold and rainy, but people were nontheless exuberant and happy to be there and to drink not only from the "holy cask", but from other Jura wines, as many producers were present in the village to let people taste and discover their production.


In the tiny church, the mass is underway. Behind in red : The "Commanderie des Nobles Vins du Jura et du Comté " The Comté is a famous Jura cheese . The Cask that will be pierced in the subsequent ceremony outside the church is kept in front of the altar .

Here and there , you can add some good food to your drinking experience. Also a good way to hide from the sometimes furious rainstorms in the freezing winter temperatures. But even when the rain thunders outside and makes people run for shelter, you a lot of laughs and "bonne humeur" around ...
Producers had each a place to offer their wine. We had a hard time reaching the tables most of the time, but once there, we could taste the "Vin Jaune" (I never disliked the ones I tasted ) or the other Jura wines, reds, whites, "vins de paille" ...


This is the time ! After the mass , the cask ( la piece ) is carried out to be pierced and drank among the people present

The "Commanderie des Nobles Vins du Jura et du Comté"< ./center> You see that they indeed carry a Comté cheese and a bottle of Jura wine , while leaving the small church behind the cask ... The Commanderie had a role in convincing the European Council in Brussels to authorize the " clavelin" in the 1990's, a unique bottle size, only found in the Jura , which is a 62 cl bottle, and in which the Vin Jaune is sold. It is said that it was hard to convince Brussels to allow this exception from the 75 cl or 50 cl bottle sizes , but that they were convinced partly by the generous cheese that the Commanderie brought to the european parliament, and by their passionate lobbying .
Sorry , no picture of "la Percée" . It will be a reason to see it yourself next year . It was in the open , raining in freezing temperatures and so crowded , plus we were'nt in the right angle . But here is the pic of actual wine coming from the cask ! We kept our glass a moment to both enjoy it and warm it before drinking ... The vin jaune has a golden color and I'll not describe how it tastes . It's just good .


Warmful ambiance everywhere . Some also brought their own bottles (Jura wine , of course!)along , not to be in shortage... Practical information : When you get to the village , you pay 9 euros , you are given a special glass (it's yours, you can bring it home) and a dozen of coupons that you use to taste the wines of your choice. Don't show the coupons first, as the people serving the wines don't always ask for them .

Look at the magic color of the vin jaune in the glass of this young woman. I swear I did not photoshop this glass... This beautiful young horse wasn't used to such a crowd and looked a little anxious ...
Percée du Vin Jaune 2007


cramans is in Jura departement not in Doubs!!!!!

Thanks , Cramanter , shame on me ! I'll correct it right away !

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