A Wine-Lover’s Tour de France
Stage 6: Tavel
Why not linger in the South of France a touch longer in Tavel, a town on the edge of the Languedoc region. The Tour passes through Montpellier, into Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux, and further into Italy (just briefly) in Pinerolo. Wait for them to return to France with a glass of rose in hand at the overwhelming and sublime Chateau d’Aqueria. Book a room (and a table) at the charming Auberge de Tavel nearby.
Stage 7: Lyon
Stage 7: Lyon
Begin your northward climb toward Lyon. Fill up on food before the next winery by stopping at the St. Antoine market for fruits, vegetables, cheese, and even freshly shucked oysters. Book far in advance for a seat and a surprise menu at Au 14 Fevrier or retreat to a 17th century building on a small island to dine at Auberge de l’Ile. (Photo courtesy of Flickr/alex ranaldi)
Stage 8: Beaujolais
Back on the wine route, and continuing to head north, stop in Beaujolais. While the Tour de France cyclists are making their way from Grenoble in Stage 20, ultimately to Paris, you’ll be gargling and spitting a classic Beaujolais red at Chateau de Corcelles. Take in the region’s old stone houses, blooming flowers, and stunning vistas filled with vineyards.
Stage 9: Dijon
Best known for its eponymous mustard, Dijon makes the perfect stop on the way to glory in the final stage. Dine well at Le Pre aux Clercs before tasting from the vines at nearby Clos des Lambrays. The cyclists may be nearing Creteils in their final stage, but you’ll be reluctant to put your glass down.
Instead of arriving alongside tour buses beneath the Champs Elysees in Paris, skip the big city in favor of Reims. After all, where better to celebrate a successful tour than in Champagne? Stop at Tattinger for the gold standard of Champagne tasting. On your way to the next tasting in the caves at G.H. Mumm, make your way to the cathedral where France’s kings were once crowned. Lastly, toast to your triumph at the estate where dry brut Champagne was first created, the storied Domaine Pommery Estate. (Photo courtesy of Flickr/fmpgoh)