Arbois, nestled amidst the Jura vineyards, is a charming town in all respects. Standing at the gateway to the Reculée des Planches, it is at the centre of the Jura vineyards and at the foot of the Jura mountains.
The old town’s ochre and yellow houses impart a warm character which is only strengthened by the flowing river of La Cuisance, a rich religious heritage, museums and the Fête du Biou.
In Arbois, you will undoubtedly find the best restaurants and the best wines. In Arbois, you will also become intimately acquainted with one of its most famous sons, the scholar Louis Pasteur, who lived a long and happy life here with his family.
Arbois retains a remarkable religious heritage. Its most visible aspect is unquestionably the church of Saint Just, which with its characteristic bell tower is unmistakable from a distance. Standing sixty metres tall, it is complemented by a Roman-style building with three naves containing a tribune and many side chapels. This church is also known for its wonderful chimes, comprised of 20 bells, 11 of which were cast in 1738. Classified as a Historical Monument, this is one of the only complexes of its kind still preserved in France.
While Louis Pasteur was indeed born in Dole, it was in Arbois that he spent most of his time in the Jura. First when he attended school or college, then once he was an adult, returning every year to relax with his family in his “Château de la Cuisance”. He also installed a laboratory there so that he could work. Louis Pasteur’s house is now open to the public and can be visited all year round.
The Arbois appellation was the first to obtain its registered designation of origin (AOC) in France in 1936. By volume, it is also the leading appellation of the 5 Jura appellations and grows the five permitted grape varieties of Trousseau, Poulsard, Pinot noir, Savagnin and Chardonnay. The Arbois vineyard covers 483 hectares and provides 70% of the Jura’s red wines. However, it is ultimately by knocking on the door of the many wine producers that you discover the best of the Arbois wines. The Museum of Vine and Wine is also not to be missed if you want to find out all there is to know about this crop of which the people of Arbois are so proud.