Carcassonne-Montpellier : le Tour de France côté vins - Les Grappes

Carcassonne-Montpellier: the Tour de France on the wine side

After some beautiful stages in the Pyrenees, the riders will set off from the city of Carcassonne to reach Montpellier. Hosting the Tour de France for the 32nd time, the capital of the Hérault region has become an essential stopover between the Pyrenees and the Alps. An ideal opportunity to escape to the Languedoc vineyards!

Course in the heart of the Languedoc vineyards

Rivaling the riders of the Grand Boucle, we set off into the Languedoc vineyards which stretch from west to east, from Carcassonne to Nîmes. Following the Mediterranean coastline to the south and the Cévennes to the north, we will enjoy the great diversity of landscapes that the vineyards offer. For the vines, this diversity is reflected in the very different soil compositions and different cultivation methods. Nevertheless, the grapes share a common hot and dry climate, typical of the Languedoc.

Like the many tourists who flock to the region each year, different grape varieties have acclimatised perfectly to these growing conditions. In the ranking of this Languedoc stage, we find :

The team of red wineswhose production is the majority in the region with for example the grape varieties grenache noir, syrah, carignan, mourvèdre, cinsault, or cabernet-sauvignon.

The rosé wine team whichshares similargrape varieties to the red wines with for example the use of cinsault, grenache and syrah.

The team of white wineswhose reputation is well established in the region with, for example, the grape varietiespages grenaches gris et blanc, macabeu, clairette, bourboulenc, vermentino, muscat à petits grains, muscat d'Alexandrie, marsanne, roussanne, piquepoul, chardonnay, mauzac, chenin, or ugni blanc.

The sparkling wine team has some nice surprises instore, for example mauzac, chardonnay and chenin.

Tour of the main Languedoc appellations

While the 22 Tour de France teams will share a route of more than 160 kilometres between Carcassonne and Montpellier, the Languedoc vineyards offer 20 appellations spread over more than 245,000 hectares.

A quick look at the map:

To thewest and south of the vineyard, you'll find the Corbières in particular,which comes in a powerful, fleshy red, a velvety, aromatic rosé, and a fat, unctuous white.In the heart of this appellation, there is also Fitou which offers tannic redwines and thesparkling wines of Limoux which offerpersistent aromatic notes both on the nose and on the palate.

To the west, but further north, we find Cabardès,which is available in red and rosé, and is distinguished by its strawberry notes. Among the emblematic wines of the region, we also appreciate the Minervois, which comes in a powerful and robustredThe Minervois is also a powerful and well-structured red, apowerful rosé with fresh notes, and frank whiteswith notes of vanilla and honey.

In the centre, you will find Picpoul-de-Pinet, a dry, fresh and fruity white wine, as well as Saint-Chinian, which offers mostly reds, but alsosome rosés and fresh whites.

From the centre to the east, you will find the Pic-Saint-Loup winesand the Clape wines.

Gourmet stops in the Languedoc

If the choice of wines is very wide in the region, Languedoc reserves many specialties to sublimate its wines. So many opportunities to appreciate the full personality of Languedoc wines!

Choose a winning team:

The team ofpowerful red wines is the perfectaccompaniment to a gardianne de taureau or a cassoulet from Casterlnaudary.

The team of white winestypical of theregion is perfect with fish or shellfishThe team of white wines typical of the region is perfect with fish or shellfish, for example to accompany the delicious oysters ofBouzigues, the excellent brandade of Nîmes or a succulent Mediterranean bass.

The team of rosé wines isideal for long summer days, with grilled meats, shellfish dishes, tapas with grilled meats,shellfish dishes, tapas, tielles sétoises, or simply with a salad in thecolours of summer fruits and vegetables.

The team of sparkling winesis excellent for the aperitif or to accompany the dessert.

To conclude this gourmet stage, we end with a special mention for the typical muscats ofthe region which are the perfect accompaniment to chocolate desserts.

Stage commentary: Offering a wide variety of landscapes, cellars and wines, the Languedoc vineyards have some great escapes in store for us... gustatory, gourmet and oenotouristic.

Quentin(Les Grappes)

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