Gazing up from the foot of AOC Château-Chalon, a sloped 50-hectare vineyard, makes the journey from neighboring Burgundy or Switzerland worth the meandering drive. A mass of hill in the shadow of a terraced cliff bearing the miniscule village of Chalon, this particular appellation in Jura is as picturesque as they come and it is where the region’s most eminent style of wine is made, Vin Jaune. Made from the local Savagnin grape, Vin Jaune (also made under Arbois, L'Étoile and the Côtes du Jura appellations in Jura) is a singular and quirky wine made into a purposefully oxidized style. Producers of Vin Jaune do not top their barrels and allow for a textured mossy blanket of yeast, known as the voile, to develop on the wine’s surface, imparting a salty-yeasty tang reminiscent of a Fino or Manzanilla sherry.

Love France?

Learn more about French wine and wine regions on Snooth: Don't miss our feature on Classic French Wines You Can Afford to Collect, or our guide to Visiting the Loire Valley.