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Tour De France Weds 10/07/19 ( wine related )


#1

I was in two minds whether to post but what the heck.

Tomorrow’s stage in Le Tour is possibly of interest to Alsace wine lovers. Starting in the Vosges forest and finishing in Colmar it passes through, or nearby, to a great number of villages and towns synonymous with the production of wine. Kaysersberg, Turckheim, Riquewihr are just three examples of many.

From Obernai, with 113km remaining, to the finish in Colmar, the route remains close to the great vineyards of the area and the potential interest, for the wine lover, great. Hopefully the weather will be good and the helicopters will bring some amazing shots of things of local and historical interest, as well as, the vineyards themselves.

If it’s as good, in that respect, as yesterdays stage in the Champagne region, it could be well worth watching. Knowing little about the area, it was a real eye opener for me to see the sheer scale of the vineyards and the enormous differences in the terrain on which the vines are planted. Oh, and I finally learnt how to pronounce Reims correctly !

Coverage is on ITV4 and Eurosport if you’re interested. And best watched with a delay so the interminable repetitious ad breaks can be scrolled through.


Midweek drinking thread [8-11 July 2019]
#2

Thanks for starting this topic! Think we’ve had some really interesting TdF chat here previously so this is a great idea.

Apparently, The Wine Society got a name-check on Eurosport during coverage yesterday (I didn’t see it - but a member pointed it out to us at last night’s tasting)! Apparently around stage 3, which finishes in Epernay?! Not sure if anyone else here heard it? :smiley:


#3

I missed it, must have been making a cup of tea, I’d have posted immediately if I’d heard it !

There was some discussion, earlier in the stage, about the merits of growers champagne that I enjoyed though. One of the pundits on Eurosport, Jonathan Harris-Bass, knows his onions when it comes to French food and drink that’s for sure.


#4

I was going to post about this later - you beat me to it. :slightly_smiling_face:. Sunday’s stage rolls out through Beaujolais, too, so some great vineyard shots this year.

They’re not going all the way up Haut-Koenigsbourg - turning off at the Auberge, and descending to St Hippolyte. Having cycled those roads, I’m anticipating being very scared at their speeds, both up and down!


#5

Yesterdays vineyard shots were nothing short of amazing, hopefully a similar job will be done tomorrow.

I didn’t have the nerve, or talent, to attempt cycling up Haut-Koenigsbourg when I was there and mostly stayed on the, closed to public traffic, and somewhat more relaxing, vineyard roads. Chapeau to you for actually doing so !

Glad you mentioned Sunday’s stage too. Pretty sure I’ll be cracking open a bottle of Beaujolais when I settle down to watch it. Er, unless I decide to start early with an equally appropriate Maconnais chardonnay !


#6

It looks like a fantastic route. A few better-known wineries to look out for:

Rolly Gassmann at Rorschwihr. Not the current premises, but the new ones which are almost finished, and dominate the village!
Marcel Deiss in Bergheim
Kientzler between Bergheim and Ribeauvillé
Trimbach at Ribeauvillé
Paul Blanck at Kientzheim. Not sure from the route, but I think it goes past.
Weinbach’s Clos des Capuchins between Kientzheim and Kaysersberg
Kuentz-Bas at very high speed in Husseren
Léon Beyer on the exit of Eguisheim

And lots of others. Winery bingo, anyone?


#7

Love it, thanks for the info. That will give me something else to do whilst I play I-Spy Grand Cru blah blah with my trusty tourist map…


#8

That seems like a good game! Quite tricky, though some do have a “Hollywood” sign to help.

I’m recording the whole stage. I worry that the best vineyard bits won’t make the final highlights…


#9

I nearly always record the full stage for the reason you mention. I enjoy the travelogue every bit as much as the racing, sometimes more, and don’t want to miss any of this stage once they hit the vineyards.

As an aside, the route is so wine friendly one can’t but wonder if Vins d’Alsace played a part in planning the route ?

Anyway, I’ll be cooking a cheats version of tarte flambee and enjoying with a bottle of The Society’s Vin d’Alsace to try and add some local atmosphere to my living room !


#10

I’m sure that they did. There’s also a huge diversion just to go through Séléstat - clearly some tourist board money changing hands there. I wonder if it’s to publicise the newly renovated Humanist Library, which is really worth a visit if you’re in the area.


#11

An excellent food pairing, too. I love tarte flambée. How are you going to cheat? Pizza base?


#12

Towns & Cities put themselves forward several years in advance and the Tour Route Administrator (what a job!) travels to them to assess suitability for either a Depart or Finish.

There is also, like in F1, the small matter of the payment to host - more for the finish than the depart, unless you are the grand depart where the fee can be 6 or 7 figures !

Once chosen then routes are assigned in association with the department and such like to show off the area to the world and encourage tourism. So I wouldn’t be surprised if interested associations don’t get involved…like the wine ones.

Don’t forget - there are certain (mountain) stages that always feature (on a rotation of approx 8 to 10 years) and one year it goes clockwise and anti the next.

All learnt sat at the side of Place de La Concorde waiting for some nutters on bikes to do laps :wink:


#13

I used a ready made reduced fat puff pastry base. I’m sure the Alsace food and wine police may come knocking though…

… but very tasty all the same. I’ll make a ‘forestriere’ later to see me through the final part of the stage.

The Trimbach Pinot Blanc was a late change of plan. Apparently it goes well with pastry based dishes !

Unfortunately the Humanist Library was closed for renovation when I visited in 2015 which was a shame as it was my main reason for visiting Selestat. Some compensation was had by way of some delicious patisserie from a shop in town though.

I’m watching the stage now, albeit temporarily paused, 117km to go, things are about to get interesting. Hope you enjoy it as much as I am Robert. What a stunning part of the world Alsace is !


#14

Thanks for the info James. I’ve often wondered how much money changed hands to either be the host of the start or the finish of a stage but had no idea that those sort of figures applied to the grand depart. Now I know why Christian Prudhomme usually looks so happy !


#15

That looks excellent! And Trimbach Pinot Blanc sounds like a great match.

Yeah, the Humanist Library was closed from early 2015 until it reopened at the end of last year. They’ve done a great job - really impressive use of computers to bring the manuscripts to life.

Just about to settle down to watch it with a half-bottle of Kientzler GC Geisberg riesling…


#16

Well, that was great. Hard to spot the wineries though - either the side of the road was full of people, or they cut away just before they got there!

Now some of my Strava segments have acquired some very fast riders :biking_man:


#17

always the way - couple of years ago it passed the very first gite we ever stayed in when I was a child. Sat with my parents and…upto to the crossroads, past the little boulangerie…and then cut to the inconsequential “big” house that had once had someone stay there for one night…and back to approx 100m up the road from the gite :man_facepalming:

we will probably see the same on stage 20 when it passes friends house near Beaufort (mmmhhh cheese and alpine wines)


#18

I’ve only ever seen a pros name crop up once on a Strava segment I’ve ridden. It was a short climb I completed in around 5 minutes. The pro, her name was Dani, did it in 1min 37secs. I was gasping at the top but I bet she wasn’t !

Lovely choice of wine by the way. Regarding the Humanist Library, you were right, there was a huge banner in Selestat publicising its re-opening.

As for I-Spy GC and winery bingo. I only managed to pick out one Grand Cru and no wineries whatsoever. Schlossberg in Kaysersberg really stood out, even before I saw the temporary banner declaring the vineyard name.

Despite that, the crowds, scenery, weather and the final part of the racing were all top drawer and were more then enough to compensate. And like the stage in Champagne, I was just amazed at the sheer scale of the vineyards and how much land they occupy. Needless to say, I enjoyed it immensely.

By the way, I visited the Cellar Showroom yesterday and found this display celebrating Le Tour…

… and advertising ’ a case for the tour ', 12 bottles for 12 wine friendly stages ( not that I can find it on the website ). The Pinot Blanc I ended up drinking was the choice for yesterdays stage. Anyway, I thought it was a nice touch.


#19

Last year the Giro passed by outside my house (literally) but they had cut away to some stragglers climbing the hill leading to it so our 15 seconds were not to be…Epernay did look gorgeous though on Monday