Written by By Clare Nelson, CNN France
The wine-growing region in southwestern France known as the Jura Alps is popular with those wishing to escape the heat of the French capital and the sun-ravaged rooftops of Marseille.
This is what makes the aneurysm-inducing snowfalls experienced in the region particularly remarkable. Skiing, too, has been hindered by the weather.
The temperature has now plummeted, leading the government to declare a snow alert. On Monday, the region issued a severe snow alert, warning that the snowfall will continue to deepen over the next few days, with warnings for ground travel and shunning drives.
The Jura Alps in France are now facing a series of severe snow alerts, leading to more than 500 schools being closed. Credit: PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
January is usually the start of the ski season, but it’s been particularly chilly this season. From January through to March, the temperature in the Jura region was 4-5 degrees below average, according to the Anglophone Journal , blaming poor wind patterns in the central North Atlantic as the culprit.
Skiers, meanwhile, are stuck in the middle of the snowbound Champagne regions, but French resorts are scheduled to open around June 24.
The region, a member of the AOC, a global wine classifier that advises bottlers on fermentation and wine taste, has suffered from dry summers in the past. The climate may well be getting worse, according to a study published last year by experts from the University of Dordogne in France, and published in the journal, Nature Climate Change.
The taste of the autumnal snow in the Jura Alps is unexpected — it seems as though the wine might be getting savored in a different way.