Wine and some other drinks of Tour de France 2016. Stage 6: Arpajon-sur-Cère — Montauban

I was a bit surprised when the GC-teams would let a break away with a rider as good as Greg van Avermat get as much lead as they got. Today the riders are going down from Massif Central. There are some cat 3 and 4 climbs, but it goes more down and up, and the final par is flat. I will expect a sprint, and that Greg van Avermat will keep the yellom jersey.

TdF2016_06

We have to deviate from today’s stage to find interesing wines. If we go straight west from the intermeiary sprint, and straight north from the finish, the two lines will meet in Cahors. Cahors is known for their full boidied red wines., mainly made from Malbec, locally called  Cot. Cahors is situated at the river Lot, which flows into Garonne, which flows out in the sea at Bordeaux.

Cahors is one of many wine districts that have been overshadowed by Bordeaux. If we go a few houndred years years back in time, Bordeaux was not a region for production of quality wine. Before the swampy areas were drained, they produced a rather thin and light bodied wine. But as a big harbour citiy, located where bot Garonne and Dordogne fow out into the sea, Bordeaux had a very stratedic location.  Wines from wine districts along thses rivers, and side rivers, were transported on the rivers and shipped out from Bordeaux. At this time, the place of origin was not as important, and was not controlled as strict as it is today. The more full bodied wines from Cahors and other areas, were blended with Bordeaux wines to improve the wines. And it was sold as Bordeaux wine. Bordeaux would not ship wine form other regions before they had sold there own. Bordeaux got known for their wine, paricularly in the important English market.

The finishing town Montauban is located a bit to the north of Toulouse. To the soulh of Montauban, we find the wine districts  Fronton, Lavilledieu and Saint-Sardos.

In Fronton they produce a good red wine form the Negrette. It is a grape low on tannins with low acidity. It gives a wine that should be drunk young. But it is prone to oxydasation, and cannot be stored for long time. Some call it the  Beaujolais of Toulouse.

North West from Fronton, we find Lavilledieu. The red wines from here are made from a large variety of grapes, and no grape is allowed to dominate the blend. This means that it is difficult to identify a carachter typical for the wines from this area. .

Saint Sardos is west of Fronton. Here, wine has been produced for a long tine. It is documented wine production in this area since the foundation of the abbey Grandsleve in 1114. The production is red and rosé wines. The most imprtant grapes are Syrah an Tannat, supplemented by Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

Tour de France 2016

Tour de France
Giro d'Italia

 

Giro d'Italia

 

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