The Jurançon wine-growing area, classed AOC (PDO) since 1936, covers 1,200 hectares of vines spread over 25 villages on the Béarn hillsides facing the Pyrenees, not far from Pau. It produces character dry and sweet white wines. There are no grand châteaux here, but vineyards, people and small plots tucked around every corner. Jurançon made its mark on history when the future King of France, Henri IV, was baptised in 1533 with a drop of Jurançon.
The distinctive feature of these vines is their height to avoid frost (at 300m altitude), planted in the direction of the slope and south-facing to be sheltered from the west wind. When slopes are too steep, the vines are pruned in a special way so that exceptional growing conditions are not lost.
Superb dry and different sweet wines are produced and some of the very sweet vintages have the same golden colour as Monbazillac or other Sauternes. The Jurançon wine-growing area enjoys a climate which is a combination of harsh mountain weather and the Indian summers and southerly winds of the oceanic zone.
The grape varieties petit manseng (sweet vintages to lay down) and gros manseng (to drink when young) provide aromas of peach, pear and vanilla. Served as an aperitif or to accompany smoked salmon or foie gras, Jurançon has the fragrance and flavour of great wines. A real treat for the palate ! There are 2 types of Jurançon :
‘Jurançon moelleux’ (sweet wine) a smooth, full-bodied, sweet wine with a hint of acidity which marries well and is easy to drink.
Its robe ranges from « greenish-gold » to « old gold » for the oldest wines, it develops aromas of white blossom, honey, toast and candied fruit.
Jurançon sec (dry wine) is a full-bodied character wine, intense and with a long finish. Its golden robe, tinged with green, develops a range of fresh fruit (citrus, white peach, passion fruit, roasted almond) and floral (broom and acacia) aromas.
The grapes are picked from mid-October to mid-December (for late harvests) marking the start of the wine-making process which is different for dry and sweet wines."