Activities near Pau: discover the Jurançon vineyards

jurançon vineyards

Where is Jurançon located? 

Jurançon is a wine-growing region in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department, near Pau. It's a mountain vineyard renowned for its dry and sweet wines, produced mainly from local Gros and Petit Manseng grapes. Jurançon wines are produced on sunny hillsides, giving them a beautiful pale yellow color and aromas of dried fruit, honey and flowers.

The Jurançon vineyard covers an area of 320 hectares and is the smallest of the five historic vineyards in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques region. It lies between the towns of Pau and Oloron-Sainte-Marie, and extends over the hills of the Oise and Luy de Béarn valleys. The vines grow on steep, west-facing slopes that benefit from the Atlantic Ocean.

What are the special characteristics of these wines? 

Jurançon wines are highly aromatic and fruity, with aromas of peach, citrus, flowers and honey. They are generally light to medium-bodied, with hints of hazelnut and fig. They are often medium-bodied and acidic, giving them great freshness and a long finish. 

Jurançon wines are produced in two styles: dry Jurançon and sweet Jurançon. Dry wines are generally light and fruity, with hints of stone fruit and citrus, and you'll find some excellent ones at Domaine de Sarros. These wines are perfect with light dishes and cheeses. 

Mellow wines are richer and more complex, with aromas of ripe fruit, honey and flowers. They are ideal with fruit-based desserts.

 What to serve Jurançon with? 

Since Jurançon is a dry, mellow white wine, renowned for its balance between acidity and sweetness, it goes perfectly with fish and seafood, as well as white meats such as poultry and veal. 

It also goes well with soft cheeses and goat's milk cheeses, as well as lamb dishes. You can then enjoy it with fruit-based desserts such as apple or rhubarb pie, and nut or chocolate desserts. 

Finally, Jurançon goes perfectly with fresh fruit such as peaches, plums, pears and apples.

Visit Jurançon during your stay in Pau

If you decide to visit Jurançon, you can start your tour with a wine tasting, which is an excellent way to discover the region's different appellations. What's more, as you taste the wines, you'll also learn how they are produced and what makes them so unique. You can then visit the cellars and winery, where the wines are produced and stored.

Once you've finished your wine tasting, you can visit the many villages in the region, discovering their architecture, churches and historic monuments, as well as their cultural heritage. You'll be able to enjoy local specialties and take in the region's spectacular scenery. For more in-depth visits, opt instead for a tour of the region's many museums and art galleries, which offer a variety of exhibitions on the region's history and culture.