Welcome to the second week of Spec’s Le Pour de France wine tour! We’re following the riders across France and giving you a rundown of the wine regions they’re in so as they’re pedaling you can be pouring glasses of regional favorites. We begin this week with the longest stage in the tour, stage 7, which is also the beginning of the delicious Burgundy wine region and then takes us into the Southwestern France wine region for some hidden gems!
Stage 7: Friday, July 12, Belfort – Chalon-sur-Saône, 230km
Stage 8: Saturday, July 13, Mâcon – Saint Étienne, 199km
Stage 9: Sunday, July 14, Saint Étienne – Brioude, 170km
Stage 7 starts in the Alsace region and then takes us in the Burgundy wine region where we’ll spend stages 8 and 9 as well. This is the home of the finest Pinot noirs and Chardonnays in the world, and their majesty is evident in the wines of Burgundy. There are other varieties in the region, but the primary focus of Burgundy’s production is Pinot Noir for Bourgogne Rouge and Chardonnay for Bourgogne Blanc.
Burgundy has five primary wine growing areas:
- Chablis – Known for zesty Chardonnay
- Côte de Nuits – Known for Pinot Noir
- Côte de Beaune – Known for rich Chardonnay
- Côte Chalonnaise – Value Pinot Noir and Sparkling Crémant
- Mâconnais – Value Chardonnay
From The Region
Pale gold and slightly muted with a refined nose revealing aromas of linden, honeysuckle, almond and white fruit. Full-bodied, mouth-coating palate with nicely restrained fat. The hallmark Chardonnay flavors display volume and freshness.
Very fresh and linear with red cherry, tilled earth, plum fruit, and delicate spice notes. Juicy and nicely tart. A fine richness is balanced by juicy mid-palate flavors leading to a refreshing finish.
Fresh and subtle on the nose with nutty, spring grass, citrus aromas, and a pinch of smoke. The palate carries flavors of citrus fruit, white peach, wet stone, toasted biscuit, honey, and a touch of oak.
Southwest France Region
South West France, or Sud-Ouest, is possibly the least know wine region in France, but also one of the most beautiful. You’ll find a trove of hidden treasures and breath-taking scenery with vineyards planted next to lush forests. Many of the wines are similar to those of Bordeaux varietals, and quality while coming down in price. Some areas produce primarily red wines in a style reminiscent of red Bordeaux, while other produce dry or sweet white wines. The South West is France’s 5th largest wine growing region: 2x more vineyards than Burgundy and 3x more than Napa Valley.
The four sub-regions within Sud-Ouest include:
- Bergerac & Dordogne River – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Bordeaux blends
- Garonne & Tarn – Diverse flavors and rare indigenous wine grapes
- Lot River – Original home of Malbec
- Pyrénées – Rare and undiscovered wines
From The Region
Rich intensity with a balanced combination of dark fruits, spice, and vanilla on the nose. Dense and full on the palate with candied cherries and sweet spice followed by powerful tannins.
The nose is subtle but has superb depth with well-integrated, almost imperceptible woodiness and hints of blackcurrants. An immediate sensation of density; full-bodied without being aggressive.
A structured, mineral wine, very textured and with firm, dusty tannins. Underneath the black currant fruits are developed into a fine juicy wine.
Our third and final leg of le Pour de France will be continuing on July 12th!