Drawing and explanations by Michel Campy
The Arbois wine region is an ancestral one, albeit relatively small: a thin strip of argillo-calcareous soil hugs the blue, grey and red marl slopes of the Revermont region. The seas of the Mesozoic Era (from 230 to 160 million years ago) left deposits of mud containing clay and limestone which gradually were transformed into marls. The abundance of these marls and their mineralogical quality is what has given rise to the Arbois region’s exceptional wine-producing terroirs (the growing environments, i.e. location, soil structure, climate and topography, that impart a distinctive taste to whatever is grown there).
The vineyards of the Fruitiere Vinicole d’Arbois
The cooperative’s total area of 250 hectares can be broken down by varietal into 42 hectares of Poulsard, 35 hectares of Pinot Noir, 14 hectares of Trousseau, 98 hectares of Chardonnay and 61 hectares of Savagnin.
Over the past few years our wine growers have been turning towards environmentally friendly viticulture using the cultivation methods of integrated farming.
The Fruitière Vinicole d’Arbois has 250 hectares of vineyards
Methods of cultivation
Vineyards are usually found on hillsides with slopes of varying steepness, mostly facing west‒south-west, at an altitude of between 250 and 400 metres. The planting density ranges between 4,500 and 6,500 vine stocks per hectare; the vines are pruned using the double Guyot pruning system and tied up. A cover crop of grass is grown at least partially. The vintners adapt the pruning of their vines to control the concentration of sugar and polyphenols in the grape. These new pruning practices are accompanied by the canopy management work of thinning out shoots and leaves, in an ever-increasing quest for high quality grapes.
Grape harvesting by hand
An argillo-calcareous soil specific to the Jura’s terroir
Grape varieties in Arbois
Every varietal thrives on a different type of soil:
– Trousseau: the most demanding grape variety, it requires light, warm soil,
– Savagnin and Poulsard: the soils they prefer are the heavy Liassic and Triassic soils,
– Chardonnay and Pinot Noir: the soil that brings out the best in these varietals is the soil at the foot of calcareous ledges where a cover of scree lightens the subjacent Liassic marls.
Integrated farming for high-quality wines
Through a comprehensive “vineyard to glass” approach, our wine growers embrace all the aspects of the sustainable common-sense methods known as culture raisonnée or integrated farming in their cultivation of vines. These techniques enable them to produce healthy, high-quality wines cultivated according to farming practices that minimize environmental impacts.
There are several essential stages involved in this type of farming:
– Trapping and counting insects
– Grassing over the parcels
– Mechanically tilling the soil (ploughing, hoeing, etc.)
– Supplying trace elements
– Using organic fertilizers
All these practices are now commonly implemented in the Fruitière’s vineyards.
Farming methods that minimize environmental impacts