Wines and other drinks of Tour de France 2018. Stage 4: La Baule — Sarzeau

Team time trial will always shuffle the classification. It came as no surprise that BMC, Sky and Quick Step to the three firs places. Quick Step was close to demonstrate why it is so important to have a well organised team. When Fernando Gaviria was dropped, it looked as if the whole team was about to fall apart. But they managed to reorganise what was left of the team.

Peter Sagan demonstrated another aspect of team time trial. The clock is stopped on no 4 across the line. If someone should ride away from the team, they will still get the team’s time, when no 4 finished. But you have to be with the team, to get the team’s time. I had not expected that Peter Sagan should be dropped. But he got the time when he crossed the line, not the team’s time. It does not really matter for him. If he is trying to win something in the end, it is the green jersey. And time does not matter in this competition.

In a way, it was more critical for Farnando Gaviria, as he is now 4.33 behind in the competition for the white jersey (best young rider). But it is very unlikely that he, as a young sprinter, would be able to keep his lead through the mountain stages.

I like that there are time diferences. Then more riders will have to attack, and we may see more action on the stages to come.

Stage 4 is another flat stage, in the area between Loire and Brittany. It will probably be another bunch sprint.

We are north and west of the wine areas in Loire, but still not really in Brittany. Brittany is not known as a wine region. But they do produce some wine here too, also in the area were the riders will be cycling today. The climate change is pushing the limit for wine growing to the north.

I have only read about these wines. I have never tasted them. As for all small and unknown wine producing areas, it is probably very hard to find the wine outside of the region. It will probably be hard to find in the region as well.

I recently read that they have found an old vine in Saint-Suliac, north  in Brittny, from the 18th century. Genetic testing shall have proved that this was the mother of  Merlot, and that  cabernet franc was the father. But we are not going there on today’s stage..

According to Le Figaro it is expected that the climate change will make Brittany a good area for wine production. There are many producers who are trying to revitalise the old wine production in the area.

But new wine areas have a problem. According to legislation that entered into force January 1, 2016, the production area for grapes cannot be expanded. To me it sounds like a very French approach to deal with over production. An EU-directive has limited the effect to some degree, but still the production are can only grow by 1% a year, which is 8.000 hectar nationally. If I have understood it right, you will need a lcense to pant grapes on new land.

i do not like this approach. It is to protect the past against competition from the future. In my “home region” in France, Languedoc, a lot of the improvement of quality has been achieved by people who have seen a potential in new areas, and have started to produce wine, often better wines than was previously produced.

It is difficult to find information on wine from Brittany. As far as I have been able to find out, they produce a white from chenin blanc, and a red from a for me unknown grape: Rondo. Maybe we will know more the next time there are TdF-stages in Brittany.

Tour de France 2018


Tour de France
Giro d'Italia


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