The hilltop village of Château Chalon on the Premier Plateau with vineyards on the slopes below it is a wine village in the Château-Chalon AOC in Jura, 37 km north of Clairvaux-les-lacs. The AOC, created in 1936, is regarded as the unofficial grand cru for vin jaune of the Jura. The soil is grey marl and there are 50 hectares (125 acres) of vineyards, dating back to Roman times, split into 180 parcels. Château-Chalon wine must be made exclusively from Savagnin grapes which must be late harvested (but not botrytized) to ensure maximum ripeness and flavour.
Jura Wine Region consists of seven Appellations of Controlled Origin (AOC) – Arbois, the oldest but also the most extensive; Côtes du Jura, which is found from north to south; L’Etoile, featuring varietal Chardonnay; and Château-Chalon, which produces Vin Jaune. To these, four Protected Appellations of Origin (PAO) are added: Macvin du Jura, Crémant du Jura and Marc du Jura. There are five grape varieties in the Jura: Chardonnay, Savagnin, Poulsard, Trousseau and Pinot Noir.
Château Chalon is classified as one of the “Most Beautiful Villages of France.” It has charming, unspoiled streets with ancient stone houses, remnants of a 13th century castle in the form of a donjon and an ancient fortified gateway in to the town.
The romanesque church dating back to the 11th century, has a statue of Christ carved in oak, stained glass windows and ancient roof tiles in stone.
There are many wineries and wine merchants in the village. Family-owned Domaine Geneletti on Rue Saint-Jean produces Côtes du Jura, white, Etoile white wine, “vin jaune” and “vin de paille”, Jura liquour wines, Macvin, Château Chalon and “vins jaunes” aged six years and three months in oak barrels without ullage and presented in 62cl bottles. We tasted and bought Chardonnay, Pinot Noir from Arbois, Savagnin, Vin Jaune, Vin de Paille (sweet ‘straw’ wine) and Marc de Jura.
We walked in the village and had lunch in a small restaurant before driving back to Clairvaux-les-lacs.