Hi! My name is Jean-Hubert Fabre. I’m visiting from France where my family owns several properties in Bordeaux and I’m interning for the next few months at Total Wine & More’s headquarters in Potomac, Maryland. I thought it would be fun to write about the Tour de France from a wine perspective, I hope you enjoy my posts!
The 99th Tour de France started on Saturday June 30th and is made up of 20 stages, which represent almost 2,200 miles. The runners will cover this distance in 23 days and the final stage will be, as all years, on the Champs Elysees in Paris.
I want to use this event to allow you to discover French wine areas. You will be able to discover beautiful places like Champagne, Alsace and Burgundy. At each stop, we will tell you about their wine history, winemakers who work with Total Wine and with which recipe you can drink these wines.
After the Champagne region, the Tour de France’s racing cyclists cross the Meurthe-et-Moselle, close to the Alsace and its wines. Located in the east of France, this area owns a real terroir thanks to the Vosges Mountains and the several varieties of soil (clay, gravel, schist,…). The clay brings body to the wine, while schist gives it delicate fruit and floral aromas. The Vosges Mountains protect the area against too much rain and give it 50 additional days of sunshine compared to the western area of these mountains.
When Alsace is mentioned, Gewϋrztraminer is the first word that comes to mind. This famous grapes variety gives to wines an intense yellow color. The nose is complex and offers exotic fruits (especially lichee), flowers and citrus aromas.
Riesling is also another ultimate Alsatian variety. It is cited for many centuries, but its culture did not develop until the second half of the 19th century. And today, Riesling is the most produced variety in Alsace.
Flammekueche or Tarte flambée is a well-known Alsacian specialty. It is onion and bacon tart with a thin-crusted cheese. With the Tarte flambée, I recommend you the Arthur Metz Riesling or the Albrecht Pinot Blanc Reserve . (Recipe for the Tarte flambée can be found here)