The Jurade de Saint-Emilion dates from at least 8th July 1199 when the Charter of Falaise was sealed by King John, John Lackland, recording the confirmation of rights given by his brother King Richard, Coeur de Lion. After its foundation by these two sons of Henry II and Eleanor, Duchess of Acquitaine, the Jurade governed the City until the French Revolution, with its powers being confirmed and extended to the other parishes of the Jurisdiction by Edward I in 1289. When the area came under French sovereignty in the late fifteenth century the Jurade’s rights, duties and powers were confirmed anew by the Kings of France.
The Jurats, the officers of the Jurade, controlled all the civic, legal and administrative affairs of the City, including the quality of the wine, marking approved casks with its Great Seal or having them destroyed if the wine in them did not meet the standards laid down by the Jurade.
Today the boundaries of the ancient Jurisdiction of Saint-Emilion, with its origins deep in the early Middle Ages, still describe the territorial limits of the two appellations in the Jurisdiction: Appellation Saint Emilion Controlée or Protegée and Appellation Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Controlée or Protegée.
The differences between these two appellations are explained here, as is the classification system, although more detail can be found on the official website with other useful information about Saint-Emilion, both past and present as well, of course, as about its wine.
The Association de la Jurade in Britain seeks to preserve and spread the well deserved fame of Saint-Emilion, as well as to encourage and build upon the historic links and friendships between the two countries.
The Association is unique in the world and came into existence as the brainchild of Peter Shamash, the first British Chancellor and the first man since 1453 simultaneously to owe allegiance to an English Sovereign and to wear the mediaeval scarlet robes of a Jurat. He served the Jurade and the Association for over a quarter of a century, giving the chance to many, including the Chancellors who have succeeded and seek to emulate him, to learn about, and fall in love with, Saint-Emilion, its people and its wines. We are privileged to have two British Chancelleries, based, as you would expect, in the two ancient leading cities of England, London and York, and serving, respectively, the south of England and Wales and the north of England and Wales as well as Scotland.
We organise tutored tastings for the wine trade and wine educators as well as for wine societies and clubs. We are also always delighted to hear from groups or individuals who would like to learn about the wines of the Jurisdiction, perhaps by an event which combines that pleasure with raising money for charitable purposes.
We also arrange visits to Saint-Emilion for members of the Jurade in England for the important festivals in Saint-Emilion's calendar, the Fête de Printemps and the Ban des Vendanges.
We may also be able to arrange visits at other times of the year to learn about the winemaking process and to taste the products of the Jurisdiction.
We would be very happy to hear from anybody intending to visit Saint-Émilion and to offer help about restaurants, places to stay and, of course, visiting vineyards.
Please contact us if we can help or if you would like to know more about the British Association.
Follow the links below if your browser does not show them in the frame to the left of this one:
Groupement de Premiers Grand Crus Classés
Association de Grands Crus Classés
Information on Appellations & Classification
The British Association's Activities
Contact the British Association
Other sites of possible interest
visitors since 1st May 2013