Domaine Désiré Petit, Arbois Melon à Queue Rouge 2015
Melon-Queue-Rouge, a white variety grown in the Jura region of France, continues to be immersed in debate as even producers from the region dispute whether the vine is, in fact, a separate variety from Chardonnay.
It is generally accepted that the two varieties are related, although some argue that Melon-Queue-Rouge is simply another name for Chardonnay, a strain that happens to have red stalks. The nomenclature seems to support this theory. Melon is, in the local Jura dialect, the word for Chardonnay, and Queue-Rouge (which means "red tail") refers to the color of the stalks. Others argue that it is a separate variety in its own right.
The Jura’s vineyards cover an intermittent 80 kilometer strip of land between Burgundy and Switzerland. Living in Pupillin for more than 75 years, the Petit Family has long been producing Jura wines and even have winemaking roots that date back to 1657. It was the grand-father Désiré Petit who started the present estate in 1932. His two sons, Gérard and Marcel, took over the family estate in 1970 and increased it up to 27 hectares of vineyards by 2008. Today, Anne-Laure and Damien (Marcel’s son) artfully craft great Jura wines from their sustainably (in conversion to organic and biodynamic) tended vines. The slopes where the different types of grapes are grown consist of a combination of limestone and clay from the Triassic and Jurassic periods. The average age of their vines is 24 years and they grow the 5 varietals that are found in the Jura. At Domaine Désiré Petit, the grapes are harvested entirely by hand in September. All wines are aged in oak barrels. 70% of their production is sold from their tasting room with most of the remainder to restaurants and retailers in France. Just a small portion (less than 10%) is available for export which makes us feel very lucky, Santé!
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