Historically, the best clusters were dried on a thin layer of straw, hence the wine’s name. Nowadays, however, the grapes are laid out on small wooden racks, or are hung up, to dry in unheated rooms. This drying phase varies between six weeks and five months.
The principle :
Selected clusters are harvested when over ripe and dried on racks for several months to maximise their sugar content. Yield is very low - approximately 180 litres of white wine with subtle aromas per tonne of grapes.
Destemming traditionally took place between Christmas and end February when the optimum sugar level was reached.
Pressing straw wine takes longer than other wines. Special presses are used to limit waste as much as possible. The must is highly concentrated in sugar, often reaching over 400 g per litre.
This almost syrupy juice is then set to ferment in oak casks for approximately one year, allowing the wine to reach a degree of alcohol between 14° and 18.5°.
Once decanted, the wine ages in small oak barrels for two to three years, developing a recognisable colour of intense gold and acquiring powerful aromas of dried and candied fruits.
Straw wine is bottled in 1/2 bottles or 1/2 clavelins depending on the region. The Jura has become the main producer of straw wine, but it is also to be found in Corrèze, the region of its birth, as well as in Provence and Corsica, where production techniques vary substantially.