This year’s Tour begins in the north — WAY north, not in France but in Yorkshire. The Tour will spend two days in Yorkshire before moving south through Cambridgeshire and Essex to finish up stage three in London, and there will be plenty of English fans along the route cheering the cyclists on. If you’re going to watch the race along the route or join the parties at one of the public venues that will be airing coverage of the race on big screens across England, let us know! We’d love to hear how you got on. The official Tour de France website has more details about where to go to see the Tour during the English stages.
Obviously, as the cycling begins in Leeds, so should the wine-drinking. Leventhorpe Vineyard is Yorkshire’s oldest commercial vineyard and is actually within the Leeds city boundary. While Simon Burnton wryly referred to the terroir in the area as “muddy” in the Guardian in 2011, Leventhorpe’s wines have received considerable praise. The vineyard’s success is down to owner George Bowden’s canny choice of site: the microclimate of his five acres, on a south-facing slope in a river valley with good drainage and protection from frosts, produces quality wines year after year. Leventhorpe growns mainly Madeleine Angevine and Seyval Blanc for still and sparkling whites, along with Triomphe, Regent and Pinot Noir for its reds. Leventhorpe recently released its first rosé sparkling, called Salmon Blush, made from Seyval Blanc with additional Red Triomphe and Pinot Noir for colour.