© Nº10 Béarn B & B 2018
Béarn Bed & Breakfast
Driving through our region, you cannot fail to notice the steep hillside vineyards which definitely require further investigation...
The Jurançon appellation (one of the first in France, dating from 1936) currently consists of 1,000 hectares of vines in 25 communes in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department.
Follow the ‘Route des Vins du Jurançon’ and you have a choice of sixty domains to visit to sample the splendid sweet or dry white wines.
It is in early October that the first grapes are picked for dry wines. Later in the month and into early November, the golden Gros Manseng grapes are harvested to make traditional sweet Jurançon.
Late November and in some years on into early December, after exposure to the warm southerly foehn wind and the sun for longer than other varieties, the first Petit Manseng grapes are picked.
These Petit Manseng grapes are harvested in several waves in order to select only the ripest, most golden-coloured bunches.
Because the vineyards are located on such steep slopes, picking can only be done by hand. The grapes are taken to the cellar in small crates to avoid bruising.
The Romans planted vines here over 2,000 years ago and the name "Jurasoo" first appeared in the Middle Ages.
By the 15th century, the largest vineyards were owned by wealthy landowners and the viscounts of Béarn. Written references to "Petit Mansenc" and Jurançon wine first appeared during the reign of Henri d’Albret in 1538.
Since then Jurançon wine has undergone many ups and downs through the centuries but is thriving again today. It is certainly the drink of choice locals get together for any meeting or celebration.
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