A Vineyard with an Exceptional Typology

The Jurançon

The Jurançon

The mild and humid climate linked to high levels of annual precipitation (around 1200 mm/year) would invite some to consider any other culture than that of the vine. However, thanks to the draining silico-clay soils and ideal hillside exposure, the vine flourishes and produces ripe, healthy grapes with a unique profile.

The proximity of the Pyrenees also makes itself felt, protective, untamable, perhaps even a little magical.

If the sight of the Pyrenees makes every child of the country feel at home, its presence also dictates the behavior of the winegrower. The microclimate generated by the various influences of the elements presents its share of constraints. If its sight tells each child of the country that he is back home, its presence also dictates his conduct to the winemaker.
The microclimate generated by the various influences of the elements presents its share of constraints.

The risk of spring frosts is a recurrent problem today. In order to prevent irreversible damage, the vines are arranged in height, sometimes with trellises exceeding 2.50m, requiring careful maintenance.

Nevertheless, this location at the foot of the Pyrenees also offers unique conditions.

Each autumn is heralded by an Indian summer, offering mild heat carried by the Foehn, a warm and dry wind. This wind is a vital element offering the possibility to pass the grapes on the vines. In this process the grapes are left on the vine for a longer period of time in order to concentrate sugars, acids and aromatic compounds. The result is complex, intense, finely textured wines. Perfectly balanced, they develop a length in the mouth that never ceases to impress.

The Mansengs: renowned brothers

Thanks to their thick skins, Gros and Petit Manseng grapes are very resistant to grey rot and allow us to use the passerillage technique to make our sweet wines. Although close, these two grape varieties are nevertheless quite distinct and each offers different qualities.


It has a singular capacity to concentrate sugars while preserving the acidity necessary for the balance and aging potential of the wine. An aroma comparable to no other. Mango, passion fruit or pineapple but also stone fruits such as peach or medlar with a touch of cinnamon.

In short, freshness, balance, aromatics, ageing potential .

To know : At Château Jolys, far from the traditional codes of the appellation, we use the aromatic richness of Petit Manseng in the elaboration of our dry Jurançons.

- Discover Château Jolys, a dry Jurançon 100% Petit Manseng, aged in French oak barrels


Elegant in appearance, it is particularly well suited to its native land.

A vigorous grape variety, when given the attention it deserves, it reveals its true personality. Quince, apricot, delicate floral notes, all descriptors highlighted by a fine, elegant and lively structure.

An Appellation with a Royal history

The Jurançon vineyard is the fruit of a thousand year old history. It has been built up over the centuries by drawing its nobility from its royal history.

Birth of the vineyard

Without being able to certify its presence in the Roman era, we find the first traces of the Jurançon vineyard at the end of the 10th century, with a wine transaction in the commune of Lucq-de-Béarn, at the abbey of Saint-Vincent. The use of the Manseng grape variety is recorded as early as the 13th century.

A royal story

In 1538, Jurançon became part of royal history when Henri d'Albert - Henri II of Navarre - bought a plot of vines in Jurançon. This royal history will continue with an anecdote known by all: the baptism of the future king Henri IV with garlic and Jurançon. This notoriety contributed to the development of the vineyard.

A dark period

Economic and social crises, ravaging of the vineyard by phylloxera, oidium and mildew, the end of the 19th century was a dark period for the Jurançon appellation, which almost precipitated its extinction.

Renaissance of the vineyard

The 20th century was a real period of rebirth for Jurançon and a return to tradition. In 1936, Jurançon became one of the first Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée for sweet white wine, and the definition of the production conditions ensured a high quality level of the wines. The Jurançon appellation was extended to dry white wine in 1975.

Expansion and sustainability

Since the 1980's, independent winegrowers have structured themselves, created a "wine route" and perpetuated the image of Jurançon. With great names such as Charles Hours, Henri Ramonteu or Yvonne Hegoburu, Pierre-Yves Latrille has participated in the expansion and the fame of the vineyard.

The Jurançon appellation today

To date, Jurançon represents 1100 ha located in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, spread over 25 communes around Jurançon and Monein... In 2005, the INAO counted a production of 27,000 hectoliters of sweet wine (3.5 million bottles) and 15,000 hectoliters of dry Jurançon (1.2 million bottles).