TdF Stage 21: A Champagne Finish

Tony Martin may have won yesterday’s individual time trial an impressive 99 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor, but Vincenzo Nibali essentially won the Tour de France. With a 4th place finish in the time trial, Nibali has secured his victory, provided he can stay on his bike and out of trouble during tomorrow’s ride to the Champs-Élysées in Paris. The good news for French fans is while no French rider was able to win the Tour this year, they have probably secured both positions on the podium beside Nibali. Jean-Christophe Péraud should come 2nd and Thibaut Pinot should come 3rd in the GC competition, so start chilling those bottles of champagne!

Do you know what the official champagne of the 2014 Tour de France is? According to Harper’s, they’re pouring Champagne de Castelnau Brut Réserve in the Tour’s VIP areas this year, and there’s even a commemorative bottle.

Champagne Castelnau


Whew! It’s been a frantic three weeks following the Tour, but as we reach Paris, it’s great looking back and all the things we’ve done:

Stage 1: The Tour began in Leeds, and so did we at Leventhorpe Vineyard
Stage 2: The English wines and Tour celebrations of Holmfirth Vineyard
Stage 3: English sparkling wine as the Tour entered London
Stage 4: One of the ubiquitous dishes of northern France, ficelle picarde
Stage 5: A look at Belgian wine, with bonus kestrels
Stage 6: A Champagne-filled “To Do” List while in Reims
Stage 7: A look at the rebellious genius of Champagne, Anselme Selosse
Stage 8: The little-known AOCs of Lorraine, with a special l‌ook at Côtes de Toul
Stage 9: A taste of Alsace from Domaine Weinbach, Rolly Gassmann, and Domaines Schlumberger
Stage 10: Celebrating Bastille Day with Crémant d’Alsace
Stage 11: Mmm, Comté cheese in the Jura Mountains
Stage 12: A Beaujolais taster
Stage 13: The evolution of Côte-Rôtie
Stage 14: Clariette de Die, the natural sparkling wine Asterix could have drunk
Stage 15: Tasting the historic sweet wine, Muscat de Beaumes de Venise
Stage 16: A look at the disastrous effects of hail on French vineyards
Stage 17: The Irouléguy AOC in the Basque region on the border of France and Spain
Stage 18: The Béarn AOC in Gascony
Stage 19: The 13 AOC wines of Bergerac, including a spotlight on Monbazillac
Stage 20: The wines of the Montravel AOC in Bergerac
Stage 21: Champagne-swilling on the Champs-Élysées

We found it a bit of a slog. The Tour really needs more rest days! It was made harder, too, when some of our favourite riders crashed out early, but we’ve always wanted to know more about the places the Tour visits, particularly the wines of those areas, and we’re glad to have done it. We might even do it again.



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