Splendid Vin Jaune, Jura Wine’s Wild Variety and Mysterious Grapes of the French Alps with Wink Lorch



What makes Vin Jaune from France’s Jura region so special? What can you discover about the diversity of wine coming out of Jura and the French Alps? What are some insider tips for planning a journey to the French Alps?

In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with author Wink Lorch.

You can find the wines we discussed here.



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  • What exactly goes into the winemaking process for Vin Jaune that sets it apart from other wines?
  • Why does Wink describe the taste of Vin Jaune as a “shock to the palate”?
  • What are some great food pairings for Vin Jaune, and how should they be stored and served?
  • How does using the méthode ancestrale influence Bugey Cerdon sparkling wine?
  • Which traditional dishes from the Jura region are a must-try, and how do they pair with Bugey Cerdon?
  • What are the best tips for having great wine-tasting experiences in the picturesque French Alps?
  • What inspired Wink to turn to Kickstarter for crowdfunding her books and other wine-related projects?
  • Why was there a need for a book on Jura alone and what challenges come with self-publishing and crowdfunding such a project?
  • What can you discover about diversity when you explore wine from Jura and the French Alps?


Key Takeaways

  • What makes Vin Jaune from France’s Jura region so special? As Wink observes, although it’s a biologically-aged wine like Fino Sherry, it’s quite different due to the unique winemaking process that involves unusual steps like aging in a cellar with varying temperatures and that it has to stay in the barrel without ever being moved or topped up until six years and three months after the harvest.
  • What can you discover about the diversity of wine coming out of Jura and the French Alps? In the case of Jura, Winks says the diversity is in its myriad of wine styles, but also, in its mass of producers, small and big. In the case of the French Alps, the big diversity is in the myriad of different grape varieties that you’ll have never heard of.
  • What are some insider tips for planning a journey to the French Alps? Winks warns that it’s becoming more and more difficult to visit the wine producers. You will always find some cellars open to visit. In Jura there are interesting wine stores and wine bars and you can try the wines there. You’ll be shocked at how much cheaper they are if you actually drink them in the restaurants in the region that have been building up their stocks of them.


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About Wink Lorch

British wine writer, author and educator Wink Lorch has always worked in the world of wine: writing, editing, teaching and presenting tastings having started her career working for British wine importers. Based between London and the French Alps, over the past 20 years, she has become known as the English-language specialist of the wines of Jura and Savoie.

Wink is the author of two award-winning books: Jura Wine (2014) won the André Simon Best Drink Book award and was shortlisted for a Louis Roederer Wine Writers’ award; Wines of the French Alps: Savoie, Bugey and Beyond (2019) won an OIV award in 2020 in the category ‘Wines and Territory’ and was shortlisted for the André Simon Best Drink Book award. Both books were part-funded by Kickstarter campaigns and self-published under the Wine Travel Media name. Since 2023 Wink’s books have been distributed by the prestigious Academie du Vin Library.

Wink is a long-term member of the Circle of Wine Writers and is currently a committee member. As well as writing her own books, she is a regular contributor on Jura and Savoie to Jancis Robinson’s Oxford Companion to Wine, Hugh Johnson Pocket Wine, and to books by Tom Stevenson and Oz Clarke. She has written numerous articles for print and on-line magazines from Decanter to Wine-Searcher.

Wink worked freelance for several specialist wine book editors over many years; she was an interim editor for Wine-Searcher’s magazine in 2014-15 and edited the Circle of Wine Writers journal 2015-2017.

A founder member of the Association of Wine Educators in the UK, among many other wine education activities, Wink taught for the WSET at Diploma level 4 for over a decade on subjects from the Loire, through sparkling wines to wines from the Americas. Today, she is a regular speaker for wine clubs and corporate events, as well as presenting seminars and webinars for wine professionals around the subjects of her books.

Wink is currently working on a small companion volume to her first book, Jura Wine, which will be named Jura Wine Ten Years On. It will be published in summer 2024 and she has already run a successful Kickstarter campaign to help fund its publication.




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Natalie MacLean (00:00:00) – Let’s talk about vision or yellow wine and how it’s similar to or different from sherry fortified wine from Spain.

Wink Lorch (00:00:07) – It’s quite different. Even though they’re both biologically aged wines with an oxidative character. Vanstone usually ferments in tank and they put it into barrel. We normally talk about the ideal cellar as being a constant temperature. Oh no, not for vision. You need temperature differences. The barrels will be there with the window open in the winter. The temperature may go down below zero and in summer they will go up to plus 30. In addition, the barrels are not filled to the top. A natural yeast known as the veil or the veil in French forms on top and protects it from the worst of oxidation and gives its taste to it.

Natalie MacLean (00:01:06) – Do you have a thirst to learn about wine? Do you love stories about wonderfully obsessive people, hauntingly beautiful places, and amusingly awkward social situations? Well, that’s the blend here on the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast. I’m your host, Natalie MacLean, and each week I share with you unfiltered conversations with celebrities in the wine world, as well as confessions from my own tipsy journey as I write my third book on this subject.

Natalie MacLean (00:01:39) – I’m so glad you’re here. Now pass me that bottle, please, and let’s get started. Welcome to episode 281. What makes the gem from France’s Jura region so special? What can you discover about the diversity of wine coming out of Jura and the French Alps? And what are some insider tips for planning a vacation or trip to the French Alps? In today’s episode, you’ll hear the stories and tips that answer those questions in part two of our chat with Winkler, which you don’t need to have listened to part one from last week first. But if you missed it, I hope you’ll go back to it after you finish this one. One of you is going to win a copy of her terrific book about the wines of Jura in the French Alps. All you have to do is email me at Nathalie at Natalie MacLean dot com, and let me know that you’d like to win a copy. I’ll choose one person randomly from those who contact me. In personal news, one podcast listener emailed me recently to say I have a soothing NPR voice, referring to National Public Radio, the US version of CBC or the UK’s BBC.

Natalie MacLean (00:02:55) – I appreciate the compliment. Though I tend to listen to podcasts with soothing voices to fall asleep at night. So perhaps every 10 to 15 minutes I should say something alarming in a big voice to keep you awake. Just kidding. I wouldn’t do that as I’d be very cross with my night time podcasters for doing the same. Well, speaking of soothing, at least by the end. Have you read wine which on fire, rising from the ashes of divorce, defamation and drinking too much? If yes, we’ll have you bought a copy for a friend or a family member? Please do that. If you’d like to support this podcast that I do for you on a volunteer basis in very soothing tones to ensure that it continues. You can order it for yourself or someone else from any online book retailer now, no matter where you live. It usually arrives in a day or two. And of course, the e-book is instant. It’s a fast read and every little bit helps spread the message in this book of hope, justice, and resilience.

Natalie MacLean (00:03:54) – You can send a copy directly to a friend or family member via an online retailer, and make their day when a gift arrives in the mail, rather than another bill. I’ll put a link in the show notes to all retailers worldwide at Natalie MacLean dot com. Forward slash 281. If you’ve read the book or are reading it, I’d love to hear from you at Nathalie at Natalie MacLean. Com. Okay, on with the show. Let’s talk about vision or yellow wine and how it’s similar to or different from sherry. Traditional fortified wine from Spain.

Wink Lorch (00:04:34) – Wow. It’s quite different, even though it’s right to draw the comparison. Natalie. It really is, because they’re both what’s known as biologically aged wines, but with an oxidative character as well, which is all very confusing, but they are extremely different. So I will talk about vision first and attempt to explain it. Vision. The word Joan means yellow, hence the cover of my book. This is a festival of wine and I tend not to use the term yellow wine because honestly, the wine never looks yellow in the glass and it sounds more romantic to stick to the French and just say Van Horn, but to translate the genre’s yellow.

Wink Lorch (00:05:21) – Of course, Sauvignon is made from exclusively one of the Jura grapes, which is called Sauvignon. Seven hours of late ripening, and they start off picking it when it’s very healthy, very ripe, and only the very best, of course. And they begin by making a white wine just like any other white wine, so goes through fermentation. And then in the springtime they put it into barrel. It doesn’t usually ferment in barrel. In this particular case it usually ferments in tank and they put it into a barrel. And what is important is that the barrels are a always old. And when I say old and these are small barrels like Barrick’s or Burgundy barrels of 2 to 8l, 400 odd gallons. So now that’s wrong. I can’t remember what they are in gallons, but standard barrel sizes and these barrels are in a curve, a cellar, Avignon, a specific Valjean cellar. Now Shura breaks all the rules into so many things. That’s why I was so bemused the first time I went there and tried to learn about it.

Wink Lorch (00:06:35) – And Evangeline Sela for the barrels is noted for having temperature differences, and we normally talk about the ideal cellar as being a constant temperature. Oh no, not for vision. You need temperature differences, and in some parts it depends on the village you’re in and the village traditions as to how big those temperature differences are. But if you’re in Arbor, because the windows will be open in these cellars, and the cellars will sometimes be attics. So lofts. So the barrels will be there with the window open. And that means that in the winter the temperature may go down below zero to in centigrade minus five. And in summer they will go up to plus 30 centigrade. So a massive difference. In addition, the barrels are not filled to the top. So a natural yeast layer known as the veil or the veil in French forms on top of the wine surface and protects it from the worst of oxidation and gives its own taste to it. And during those changing temperatures during the year, it becomes either fully forming across the surface of the wine, or it just sort of breaks up a bit and there are a few holes, and then it comes together again, and it’s a living thing and it moves in.

Wink Lorch (00:08:22) – It sounds a bit revolting, but these are yeast, but it moves in the wine. It’s all very, very mysterious.

Natalie MacLean (00:08:31) – And do the types of yeast change over time?

Wink Lorch (00:08:34) – Probably not. No, but it’s a mixture of yeast. And I’ll talk about Sherry in a minute, although I’m not an expert in it, but I know more than at least more than the fundamentals. So the other key to the making of John, and there are quite a few oxidative sauvignon from the Jura that are made in this way, but don’t stay the course to be labelled Vanstone. The wine has to have stayed for over five years in the barrel without ever being moved. No racking, no touching except to test it, to make sure that things are going along the way and it’s not allowed to be released until six years and three months after the harvest. So just now, January February 2024, they are beginning to release the 2017. So right now you won’t be able to buy any version that is younger than 2017.

Wink Lorch (00:09:40) – If you see it, it’s a fake. Whereas Sherry, everything is different, but the comparison is specifically with Fino Sherry, which what they have in common is that the fino sherry is also aged under that layer of yeast, of flor yeast, as it’s known there. I believe the actual biology of the yeast, the nature of them is somewhat different. But what is also different is that because they’re using a palomino grape grown in southern Spain, in Andalusia, the acidity is not nearly so high as with the Sauvignon grape grown in Jura. The other difference is that Vanstone and the oxidative seven Hours of Jura are never fortified, whereas in sherry there’s always a level of fortification. And I think if we go into any more detail, we’ll lose all the audience. Natalie. Yes.

Natalie MacLean (00:10:39) – Or they’ll need a drink of exactly zero. Toot sweet. So tell us what banjo tastes like.

Wink Lorch (00:10:45) – Oh, well, it’s a real shock to the palate the first time you have it. It’s exceedingly dry. A big whack of acidity when you smell it.

Wink Lorch (00:10:58) – If you’re not expecting it, you might think it was off. There should not be a rancid smell, but if you’ve never tried it before, you might immediately go, oh, oh, oh, there’s something wrong with this maturation or something like that, but that come back again, come back again, smell it again. And you might notice walnuts. You might just start to notice the smell. Of certain spices that you might be familiar with using made in curries like fenugreek, ginger. That sort of thing. When you taste it, that real shock of acidity and there’s nothing smooth about it. It’s the opposite of smooth, but there’s a huge amount of complexity in it. And for a beginner virgin drinker, I would suggest having a piece of content cheese. So Conté cheese is the most famous or even infamous cheese of the genre. Specifically, why.

Natalie MacLean (00:12:05) – Is it.

Wink Lorch (00:12:05) – Infamous? Well, it’s infamous because it’s actually the most produced cheese in the whole of France. So therefore, in the supermarkets you will find a very ordinary quality of Comte, a little bit like, well, certainly in England, if you take cheddar, you can find very, very ordinary cheddar and you can find incredibly tasty farmhouse cheddar.

Wink Lorch (00:12:29) – Well, it’s just the same with content. So content is a very famous cheese. And when it’s good, it’s very, very good indeed.

Natalie MacLean (00:12:37) – And what does it taste like?

Wink Lorch (00:12:39) – Well if you’re familiar with Gruyere, it’s that type of cheese. I’m no good at giving descriptors for cheese, but it’s a hard cheese. It depends on the age of it and the style and so on. But the two together are an incredible complement, especially if you have some walnuts as well. You then just go back and retest the vision and it tastes amazing. And once you’ve got to know it, it also can be drunk through a meal with rich, creamy sauces. There are famous dishes made with vegan chicken dishes and trap dishes and so on. And for more adventurous chefs and drinkers, it works very well with spiced, broadly speaking, Asian dishes. That’s a terribly broad term, I know, but there are lots of experiments done by chefs in the Jura region and by chefs now all over the world. Jura wines are much loved in Japan.

Wink Lorch (00:13:38) – It’s one of their most important export markets as well, and I’ve never been there. But apparently the top chefs there are constantly experimenting with matches, with vision and with the oxidative sauvignons.

Natalie MacLean (00:13:53) – Yeah. And you’ve had some lovely descriptors in addition to what you’ve shared with us. I was just picking up from some of your notes lemony, crystallised fruit, warmly nutty, and it’s acid driven. And what I was intrigued though as well. Correct me if this is not correct. The yeast breaks down through a tolerance or the final phase of self-destruction during fermentation, when it releases enzymes that give the wine kind of an mamey or that savory deliciousness factor as well.

Wink Lorch (00:14:21) – Yeah, well, it’s a very technical process. I mean, I don’t really have anything more to add because it requires a scientific to.

Natalie MacLean (00:14:30) – Know those are good descriptors. So early on.

Wink Lorch (00:14:33) – Yeah. You need the glass in front of you.

Natalie MacLean (00:14:35) – Yeah, absolutely. And how do we serve it. Is it chilled. Is it a white wine glass.

Wink Lorch (00:14:40) – Absolutely. Serve it in a white wine glass. Yes. Some people do serve it in smaller glasses, especially if it’s a vision or a Chateau Shalon, which is one of the specific appellations exclusively for Valjean, simply because it’s very expensive and you serve small amounts, but ideally you should have a decent sized wine glass and most importantly, do not serve it chilled. Okay, good to know. Serve it up. I mean, I hate the term room temperature because it’s always too warm. Obviously you don’t want to have it warm, but serve it for argument’s sake. Cellar temperature. And I don’t mean the Jura Van Jones Cellars, I mean 13 to 15 to even 16 degrees. Definitely not out of the chiller or out of the fridge. You can ideally open it the day before and just put the cork back in just to keep the dust out, and you will find that it lasts. If you don’t drink it all for weeks without any problem, as long as you store it somewhere reasonably cool.

Wink Lorch (00:15:45) – Obviously for storage just when it’s open and it’s a very, very long lived wine. The other thing to say is that it’s in. I very rarely use the word for anything, but it is in a unique bottle, both shape and size. I’m sorry I don’t have one in front of me, but vision is in a clever bottle, and a clever bottle is the only non-standard size bottle that the EU allows, for example, and it is 62cm and you are not allowed to sell Vanstone in Europe in any other size. In the US you sometimes see it in standard half size bottles in 37.5 HCL.

Natalie MacLean (00:16:31) – Yeah, it seems to have a long neck and then it curves out quite a bit.

Wink Lorch (00:16:36) – It’s sort of dumpy. It’s a very squat is a better word. It’s a very traditional old bottle. Yeah. But again tiny tiny quantity. It’s only 5% of the production of the whole of Jura.

Natalie MacLean (00:16:51) – Wow. Holy smokes. Okay, so you have a wine with you that you wanted to share. Maybe we could see the bottle first.

Wink Lorch (00:16:58) – Well, I picked something that was a bit of fun. It’s afternoon here while I’m speaking to you in London. And this is actually from the little region of Bourget, and Bouchet is next to Savoie, and it’s actually in between Jura and Savoie. So come south down the Jura mountains and keep going south. And you hit. We’re west of Geneva here, and you hit Bourget. And the first area of Bourget that you hit is called the Selden and South Downs. The name of a little town, a little village. And in the saddle area they are famous for making. You’re not going to be able to see the bubbles here, because there’s only a few of them, but they’re famous for making a pink, sparkling bubbly called simply Bourget Cerdan. And unexpectedly, it’s made mainly from the Gamay variety. You can also use a second variety, which is called pulsar, which is a Jura variety. This particular example is 100% Gamay and you go, well, why Gamay? But where we’re thinking of geographically only 50 miles or 80km to the west as the crow flies is Beaujolais, northern Beaujolais.

Wink Lorch (00:18:23) – Because I talked about Lyon before not being too far away and Lyon is south of Beaujolais. So other curiosity about this wine is that it’s made in the method austral. So not the champagne method, but the method ancestral, which is a single fermentation in the bottle. And so if you’ve heard of peanuts, peanuts are made in a similar way to this.

Natalie MacLean (00:18:54) – So petulant natural. They’re lightly fizzy. They’re trapping the CO2 in the bottle rather than letting it release during fermentation to create a still wine.

Wink Lorch (00:19:04) – Correct. Doing that. And the big thing is that they don’t filter out the yeast in petina. Well, in this one they do filter out the yeast and transfer it into another bottle. So it starts off in the champagne or traditional method and as a transfer. But the most important thing is that they never add any extra yeast and sugar, which is what you do to make a champagne or a traditional method. So sugar is in here is completely natural and the yeast of the original yeast, and it ends up being very low alcohol and slightly sweet.

Natalie MacLean (00:19:46) – Oh, great. And it looks like a rose. Yeah.

Wink Lorch (00:19:50) – It is a rose. All bush is rosé from Gamay or a little bit of pulsar. And it’s only 8% alcohol.

Natalie MacLean (00:19:59) – Oh, well that’s great.

Wink Lorch (00:20:01) – And it’s a wine. Wine to have with fresh strawberries or just on its own when you fancy a drink at tea time. I could happily, happily just sort of keep supping this this afternoon and after we’ve finished, do a bit more work and that’ll be it.

Natalie MacLean (00:20:17) – It’s so you should. Haha. And what local dishes might pair? Well, either with that wine or go back to that. I just wanted to talk a little bit more about food. The local dishes beyond the cheeses, which sound marvelous. Are there any others that you want to highlight?

Wink Lorch (00:20:33) – well, invention. I sort of alluded to the creamy sauces. So the most traditional dish of all is pull or Vance-Owen, or if you want to give it a fuller name and to have more expensive ingredients than it would be Palais de Bresse.

Wink Lorch (00:20:54) – So a Bresse chicken, which is a particular the breast is the region that’s in between Jura and Burgundy in the plain there. And they have a famous.

Natalie MacLean (00:21:06) – Do they have the blue feet?

Wink Lorch (00:21:08) – I think they.

Wink Lorch (00:21:09) – Are. Are they blue or red or are they red feet? I think they’re red feet. I can’t remember, I can’t remember, but they’re tiny. They have white feathers and they’re tiny. And the price of buying one is horrifying. They have a highway or motorway service station is hilarious because as you’re driving down, you see it because there’s this huge metal chicken and you stop there for a coffee or something. And in their shop, they actually sell these chickens at a fast price, but they’re obviously very carefully reared, lots of strict rules and all the rest. And they have a look.

Natalie MacLean (00:21:51) – How much would one chicken cost? I’m just curious.

Wink Lorch (00:21:54) – Oh, don’t ask me, but about.

Natalie MacLean (00:21:57) – You’ve never bought one?

Wink Lorch (00:21:59) – No, but four times as much as a normal free range, decent chicken and smaller as well.

Wink Lorch (00:22:06) – But pull the breasts or just pull over again. Sometimes with Marie avec Marie Marie. Moral mushrooms. Are you familiar with morel mushrooms? And. Oh, they’re very black and they don’t look anything like a normal sort of shopping out of Paris. And they tend to be from the spring rather than the autumn. And they’re very, very, very tasty. I think in English we call them morel morel, and in French it’s Marie Marie Lee’s. So they’re very flavoursome. So the dish is not a long cooked chicken dish. It tends to be in pieces, although there are a million different grandmother’s recipes for this and it’s cooked in ideally in a southern white wine, you honestly don’t have to cook it in version, so you cook it in a southern young white wine, and then you finish it off with the mushrooms if you have them. And with a glass of Joan towards the end, that gives it the flavour. And you can do the same sauce with trout. And in fact they also do a pastry dish with the mushrooms and the same sauce as well, like a massive olive oil.

Wink Lorch (00:23:26) – So those are very traditional dishes of the genre with Vance-Owen. But the whole of Shura and the Alps as well have in common the fact that apart from that, the essential ingredients are simple peasant food of pork dishes. So all sorts of sausages, hams, sausage or whatever that go beautifully, charcuterie that goes beautifully with these light, acid driven, earthy red wines and then cheeses of all sorts, either as cold cheese plate or cooked into all sorts of different dishes. So various versions of fondue, raclette and then tucked flat in Revolution area.

Natalie MacLean (00:24:18) – What is Tati?

Wink Lorch (00:24:20) – Tati. Flat is made from the cheese revolution. It’s yet another version of potatoes that I didn’t mention, which, once the potato was brought to France, is a staple there. So it’s baked potatoes, onions, lardo, or pancetta if you prefer little bacon bits topped with melted cheese in the oven. And it goes beautifully with the acid driven white wines from Savoie, for example, from the grape, or even from the Altice variety. That goes beautifully.

Wink Lorch (00:24:56) – Well, then in Savoie you do have big lakes, so there are lake fish as well, and there are rivers with trout, and that goes for Jura as well. You see trout quite a bit, but it’s relatively simple fare unless obviously you’re in some of the better restaurants where they’re experimenting with international flavors, especially spices.

Natalie MacLean (00:25:21) – Oh, that sounds marvellous. It sounds like a wonderful region to visit. The vineyards, the restaurants, of course, if you love skiing, what are a couple other tips you would give to those who want to travel, either to the French Alps?

Wink Lorch (00:25:32) – Jura in the French Alps in particular. The town of Annecy I mentioned is absolutely stunning, but do try to avoid the very busy time of the busiest time in France is between mid-July and mid-August. And it’s really, really full on. And you really don’t want to be visiting Annecy at that point. But if you go in summer, get up into the mountains and go hiking, and if you can go in June and look for the wildflowers in the meadows and up in the woods, they’re stunning as well.

Wink Lorch (00:26:14) – Back in Jura, there are some extraordinary little villages. One thing I want to emphasise is this is a wine show, is that there’s more and more difficult to visit the producers, especially the trendy names. You won’t get an appointment. It’s simple. I can’t get an appointment half the time and I write about it. Even the importers who some of them for my new book, I’m saying, well, can you tell me how I can get hold of so and so, who’s a newer producer that I want to write about? And they said, we can’t get Ahold of him. You know, we sell the wine. They won’t reply because they can sell all they have. And they’re busy in the vineyards. They don’t have staff to look after you. Having said that, you will always find some cellars open to visit, except on a Sunday where you might not. So be open minded about it and ensure there are more and more very interesting wine stores and wine bars. And you can try the wines there.

Wink Lorch (00:27:18) – And if you are familiar with Jura wines already and familiar with the prices, you’ll be shocked at how much cheaper they are if you actually drink them in the restaurants in the region that have been building up their stocks of them. So enjoy that and don’t worry so much about visiting the wine producers in Savoie. It’s a little bit easier to visit the wine producers, but apart from certain very trendy ones.

Natalie MacLean (00:27:44) – Great. I know time is flying, but I do want to mention your amazing Kickstarter campaigns. I’m just going to give a little background so that people who are not familiar with Kickstarter, but you had a lot of creativity and forward thinking in organizing. Now, several Kickstarter campaigns to fund your books and Kickstarter, of course, is a funding platform for creative projects including films, games, music, art, technology, and more. Of course, books and supporters pledge various amounts of money to help the creator reach their funding goals to do the projects. The kicker, of course, is that if you don’t get enough pledges to meet or exceed your financial goal by a certain date, all of the money is returned to those who pledged, and you don’t get anything.

Natalie MacLean (00:28:24) – So what inspired you to organize a Kickstarter? It’s highly unusual, not just for publishing, but in the wine industry too.

Wink Lorch (00:28:32) – Well, the first one I did was in 2013, so one year before I published my first book. The inspiration was the fact that I have worked for myself many, many years before that since. And I had had one particular project that I think you might remember that was online fairly early, that was called Wine Travel Guides, and it was a project that had a lot of plaudits, a lot of respect, and lost me a huge amount of money. So that was one thing that was just like, I’m just part of that there. Another thing was that I had worked myself freelance part time in book publishing and wine book publishing, mainly for Oz Clarke’s publishers, and I’d learned a lot about books and how many they sell and how few books actually sell a large amount. And I had vowed never, ever to write a book from my experience. So when the whole sort of Jura train started moving in, that everybody wanted to know more and more about Shura.

Wink Lorch (00:29:40) – I was on social media very early, especially for a European, because of Wine Travel guides, which was an online project. I was on social media, I was doing Twitter, I was doing Facebook. I was part of a lovely group of people that used to attend the European Wine Bloggers Conference, and through that I discovered this concept of crowdfunding. There was somebody who was raising money through another platform called Indiegogo for a film about Roger, and I supported it, and I thought, this is interesting. And I very swiftly realized that, first of all, that a book on Jura was needed. Otherwise someone else was going to write it because other people were beginning to come in and I knew more and that really I had to do it. I then spoke to a couple of publishers. Nobody would publish it unless it was going to be Jura and Savoie together, or Jura and the French Alps together. Jura. Savoie is the usual three. And I thought, there’s so much to say about Jura, and they get so mixed up these regions they need separating.

Wink Lorch (00:30:49) – And I thought, I know myself well enough, I’ll have too much to write and I’m too wordy, so I will. I need to do it just on Jura, and I don’t want to lose money on it. I’ve already lost money on a project. I don’t want to do that again. So I started investigating Kickstarter and Indiegogo and so on, and I started investigating how to self-publish. And, you know, I had quite a bit of experience and a lot of contacts. I began to realize that it was doable, and I’m somebody that tends to read the instructions on things that I buy. The first thing I do, you know, get the packet, take the instructions out. I promise you, I did it with these new headphones. I read the instructions and these days things come without instructions and you have to find them online, which is very annoying. But I read the instructions for Kickstarter. But most importantly, I had a strong social media following already. I didn’t just say, oh my goodness, I’m going to do a fundraising project, I need to start a Facebook account.

Wink Lorch (00:31:57) – I already was known for my knowledge on Jura, and I already had a following on Facebook and on Twitter. Instagram wasn’t a thing in those days, and so I just put it together and I learnt a huge amount doing it the first time, and that’s what enabled me to do it another two times. It doesn’t entirely fund me or fund the project or anything. It’s about pre-sales and it’s about buzz and it’s about getting people excited. And once you deliver the book, if you continue with the social media buzz, then there are all these people with you. And at one. And I had to make a very big decision that I won’t go into, but I had actually committed for a publisher to publish a book for me to write a book for them. And this is several years ago, and it coincided in a difficult personal time for me, and it coincided when I was trying to produce my second book, and I’d already signed a contract, and I thought, I don’t like letting people down.

Wink Lorch (00:33:07) – But I had done a Kickstarter for my second book. My second book had 450 people, roughly, who had kicked in for that book. And I had a choice. And I thought, on the one hand, I have 450 people, and I’ve already banked it was about £20,000 from these 450 people. On the other hand, I have a reputable publisher who’s given me no advance. Which do I choose? It was obvious it wasn’t just about the money. It was about 450 people. And this is the thing, these are these people who are all willing you on. And with the second book. I had a lot of problems and it was late and everything, and yet they were all willing me on. They were all behind me. They were all sympathetic. So it’s about that as much as it’s about the money. But my goodness, running a campaign, having just done it again for the third time, this time with no support, no partner, completely on my own for 30 days.

Wink Lorch (00:34:11) – It’s full on, it’s full on, but otherwise you won’t make it work.

Natalie MacLean (00:34:17) – So you’re always emailing people and on social media trying to promote it to get people to pledge.

Wink Lorch (00:34:22) – Yeah, and to be fair, although I got a very decent amount of money, I didn’t actually get the numbers that I would have liked, and it’s partly because it did get round. I’m so inefficient that I didn’t have a good email list. And so I did the social media, yes, but because that was a bit easier to do and I emailed various individuals, but I never did a big email blast had I, except through Kickstarter and Kickstarter, the platform. And I mean a lot of people, not them, but for me, they’ve been great and I was able to, at the click of a button, get them to send an email to everybody who supported my first two books. Now, of course, some people will have no longer have the same email or whatever, but it definitely got me pledges and that and social media got me through it.

Wink Lorch (00:35:13) – But if you could do email as well, you do even better.

Natalie MacLean (00:35:16) – Well, they say the gold is in the list. Email, like social media, actually doesn’t move as much product or whatever you’re trying to sell as an email does.

Wink Lorch (00:35:24) – Yeah, and that’s the one thing I just ran out of time.

Natalie MacLean (00:35:27) – Oh yeah. Absolutely. But you still were successful in terms of your campaign goal. So that’s very impressive.

Wink Lorch (00:35:33) – And now I have the hard work to do to write it.

Wink Lorch (00:35:36) – Yes.

Natalie MacLean (00:35:38) – Okay. Yes. Yeah. The delivery we’re going to wrap up soon. This has been fascinating. And thank you for giving us and me especially to a great mini education on the Jura and the French Alps wines. And we’ll all have to get your book books, I should say. Is there anything that we haven’t covered that you’d like to mention before we wrap up?

Wink Lorch (00:35:59) – I think it’s mainly to embrace the diversity that both Jura and the French Alps have to offer. In the case of Jura, that I versity is in its myriad of wine styles, but also in its mass of producers, small and big.

Wink Lorch (00:36:22) – And don’t only look for the trendy producers. Be brave and try some of the others. And in the case of the French Alps, the big diversity is in the grape varieties that we’ve not really touched on today. And they have a whole myriad of different grape varieties that you all have never heard of. Be brave. Try them. Speak to your wine store or your sommelier and say, is there an unusual grape from Savoie that you’ve got a wine from? And tell me a bit about it and try it.

Natalie MacLean (00:36:54) – Right. Oh, great advice, great advice, not just for these regions, but for wine generally when approaching, I mean the joy, the sensory pleasure is all in the diversity of.

Wink Lorch (00:37:04) – That’s why we do it, isn’t it?

Natalie MacLean (00:37:06) – It is. That’s why I’m no longer working on orange juice or cornflakes. So wink, where can we find you? Online? Social media, you and your books.

Wink Lorch (00:37:17) – You can find me on Instagram. I don’t necessarily post very regularly when I’m writing, but you’ll find me there.

Wink Lorch (00:37:24) – You’ll find me on Facebook. I don’t follow back unless I know that you’re working in wine or I know you, but you can follow me there for my books. Academy Divine Library are selling my books now. They distribute my books and Academy Duval library.com, and they have both my existing books, and they will start advanced sales in a few weeks or a couple of months. We haven’t decided yet of the new book, Shura Wine ten years on so you can find my books there to buy. You just Google me. I have a very unusual name and you’ll find me, but please don’t barrage me with too many questions these next few months. I’m trying to write a book. You’re busy.

Natalie MacLean (00:38:14) – You’re kind of busy. Yes, absolutely. We will give you your space so that you can give us the book. Wink. Okay.

Wink Lorch (00:38:23) – Thank you.

Natalie MacLean (00:38:24) – Well thank you. Wink. This has been delightful. I’ve really enjoyed this conversation. I’ve learned so much and I am going to say goodbye for now.

Natalie MacLean (00:38:31) – But thank you again for being with us and for sharing a small part of your knowledge about Asura and the wines of the French Alps. So good luck with the book and thank you again.

Wink Lorch (00:38:41) – Thanks, Natalie. That was great.

Natalie MacLean (00:38:48) – Well, there you have it. I hope you enjoyed our chat with wink. Here are my takeaways. Number one what makes pension from France’s Jura region so special? Well, as Winc observes, although its biologically aged like fino sherry, it’s quite different due to the unique winemaking processes that involve unusual steps like aging in a cellar with varying temperatures, open windows and it stays in a barrel without ever being moved or topped up for six years and three months after harvest. Number two. What can you discover about the diversity of wine coming out of Jura and the French Alps? In the case of Jura, Winc says the diversity is in its myriad of wine styles, but also in its mass of producers, both small and big. For the French Alps, the big diversity is in the myriad of different grape varieties that you’ll never have heard of.

Natalie MacLean (00:39:43) – And number three. What are some insider tips for planning a journey to the French Alps? Winc warns that it’s becoming more and more difficult to visit the wine producers. You’ll always find some cellars open to visit, though. In Jura there are interesting wine stores and wine bars where you can try the wines and you’ll be shocked at how much cheaper they are if you actually drink them. In the restaurants in the region that have been building up their stocks of them for years. In the show notes, you’ll find the full transcript of my conversation with wink, links to her website and books, the video versions of these conversations on Facebook and YouTube live, and where you can order my book online now, no matter where you live. You’ll also find a link to take my free online wine and food pairing class, called the five Wine and Food Pairing Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Dinner and How to Fix Them Forever. At Natalie MacLean dot com forward slash class. And that is all in the show notes at Natalie MacLean.

Natalie MacLean (00:40:38) – Com forward slash 281. Email me if you have a SIP tip question, or would like to win a copy of the book on Jura wines. Or if you’ve read my book or are in the process of reading it at Nathalie at Natalie MacLean. Com. If you missed episode 113, go back and take a listen. I chat about tasting fresh spring wines from Austria with Rudi Hrabal. I’ll share a short clip with you now to whet your appetite.

Rudi Rabl (00:41:06) – Lena is able to deliver from an entry level wine, but it can move up to and really full bodied, really concentrated, but also elegant wine. You can also make an ice wine or an apple, and only say so with the guarantee that you have the full range of all the possibilities.

Natalie MacLean (00:41:29) – So in styles and sweetness and weight and so on. Now one descriptor I’ve heard is white pepper. Is that typical of Gruner Veltliner, and why would that be? If so.

Rudi Rabl (00:41:41) – It is the peppery taste you find very often in the name, but you find also a lot of other spices in the nose.

Rudi Rabl (00:41:49) – But you have also yellow fruits, stone fruits in which type of solid grows. That makes a huge difference in style wise.

Natalie MacLean (00:42:03) – You won’t want to miss next week. When I share my conversation from the Erica Diamond Podcast about my struggles with mental health and alcohol. If you like this episode or learned even one thing from it, please email or tell one friend about the podcast this week, especially someone you know who’d be interested in learning more about the fascinating wines of Jura and the French Alps. It’s easy to find my podcast. Just tell them to search for Natalie MacLean wine on their favorite podcast app, or they can listen to the show on my website. Thank you for taking the time to join me here. I hope something great is in your glass this week. Perhaps a lovely wine from the French Alps. You don’t want to miss one juicy episode.

Natalie MacLean (00:42:53) – Of this podcast, especially the secret full bodied bonus episodes that I don’t announce on social media. So subscribe for free now at Natalie MacLean. Com forward slash subscribe.

Natalie MacLean (00:43:07) – Meet me here next week. Cheers.