Savagnin is a small, round grape with pale skin, found almost only in Jura, eastern France. It is most famously, and commonly, used to make vin jaune, a fortified wine similar to sherry, but it can also be used in any of the Jura appellations. It has a good ageing potential.
Savagnin yields very poorly, but grows relatively well on the marl slopes of Jura. In 2000, only 412 hectares of Savagnin were recorded in France. It is genetically the same as a Traminer that once grew across Alsace, Austria, Germany and Hungary, but is unrelated to the relatively common Austrian Traminer we know today.
Vin jaune itself is a rich fortified wine created in part through oxidation. During fermentation, air is left in the barrel, over which forms a film of yeast, the voile, which is similar to the flor created in sherry production. It not only protects the fermenting juice from bacteria, but it also gives the wine a rich nutty taste.