08 June 2011

jura bike trip: picnic dans les vignes, château-chalon

Before our tasting at Domaine Macle in Château-Chalon we stopped for a picnic below the town.  Ludwig Bindernagel had told us the night before about a tiny parcel of land, less than 1ha, that he had purchased and was preparing to plant with Savagnin; near this parcel, he said, was an excellent spot for a picnic. The appropriate cluster of vineyards was marked with a handpainted wooden sign that said "Le Nid" ("The Nest"), visible from the road.

My friends and I identified Ludwig's new parcel as soon as we arrived - the earth was freshly turned and an infinity of stones awaited arduous removal. As far as we could see, however, there was no shade anywhere near it. Since we had just pushed our bikes halfway up the steep straw-narrow path in fierce sunlight and were about to collapse, we installed ourselves some ways away from Ludwig's parcel, on the outskirts of neighboring vineyard beneath a tree.

Although drinking at that point of exhaustion was more appealing in theory than in practice, we cracked open the bottle of 2008 Domaine des Cavarodes Vin de Pays de Franche-Comté and tucked into some comté and saucisson.

We'd purchased all of the above picnic supplies at Le Puits à Vin Epicurea, a terrific caviste / épicerie in Poligny on the main square. I'd been overruled on the actual choice of wine, everyone else preferring room temp red wine to room temp white. (Le Puits à Vin Epicurea loses points for having almost nothing chilled in stock. We lose points for not taking along a cooler, something I'll remember on the next bike trip.)

Anyway, sitting in a vineyard shooing flies away is not the time to be fussy. The DdesC VdeP was bright, red-fruited, pleasantly gamey.

Domaine des Cavarodes is the project of a young dreadlocked organic vigneron called Etienne Thiébaud, whose 4-5ha of vines are divided between the area south of Arbois and north of Arc et Senans.  At Le Puits à Vin Epicurea we were told the VDP rouge is a blend of no less than ten varietals: predominantly Pinot Noir and Trousseau, with some Gamay, Pinot Meunier, Argant, Mézy, Enfariné, Portugais Bleu, which last three I'd never encountered before. I'd be intrigued to taste them separately; in this particular blend they combine to form something familiar, if very enjoyable: rustic high acid picnic red.

Le Puits à Vin
3, Grande Rue
39800 POLIGNY 
Tel: 03 84 37 02 29

5 Place des Déportés
Tel :03 84 37 16 05
Related Links:

Jura Bike Trip: Excuses
Jura Bike Trip: Overnoy Oversight
Jura Bike Trip: Marmara Kebab, Poligny

A 2010 tasting with Etienne Thiébaud of Domaine des Cavarodes @ LeBlogd'Olif 
A brief 2008 post on Epicurea @ LeBlogd'Olif


  1. Just to point out that the Poligny wine store/cheesemonger you bought the supplies from is Epicurea in the place des déportés and not Le Puits à vin on a different street -- this caused a little confusion on our recent trip to the Jura where we followed a number of your recommendations, including staying with Bindernagel. (We bought great cheeses from Epicurea.) Mme Macle refused us a tasting. But we did manage to taste at Houillon and brought home some of his 2003 vieux savagnin ouillé!

  2. ahh ! how embarrassing. many thanks for your correction. and apologies to the lady at Epicurea !

    glad it sounds like you had a good trip nonetheless ! just saw ludwig last friday at the au passage party fete de la musique party in paris. he seems to have gotten miraculously younger from when i last saw him.

  3. For Portugais Bleu as a mono varietal you must go to Austria, Germany or eastern Europe. Light, boring. The Argant can be found as Gänsfüsser in Germany but is extremely rare. One producer only and always sold out. Johannitergut in Mussbach, Palatine. Have not tried it yet so i cannot comment.

    Brilliant blog!