Oenotourisme France - Vallée du Rhône : le Tour de France côté vins - Les Grappes

Rhone Valley: the Tour de France on the wine side

After a beautiful breakaway in the heart of the Languedoc vineyards, the route of the Tour de France reserves to the riders several stages in the heart of the Rhone Valley. An ideal program to get an overview of the vineyard!

A tour in the heart of the Rhone Valley vineyards

If the profiles of the next steps are very different from each other, the Rhone Valley vineyard offers a great diversity of wines. Between slopes for the pleasure of climbers and tracks ideal for sprinters, the Rhone Valley is also often divided into two zones: the northern part and the southern part.

Zoom on the profile of the Rhone Valley vineyards:

Northern part: Framed to the west by the Massif Central and to the east by the Alps, the Northern Rhône Valley lies between Valence and Vienne. This location offers a temperate and cool climate with a continental influence. The soils of this region are ancient and formed of granite and schist. The vineyards have adapted to this landscape by developing into narrow, sloping terraces. One of the peculiarities of the northern Rhone Valley vineyards is the choice of grape varieties, which is limited to four varieties.The reds are generally made from Syrah, while the whites vary between Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne.

Southern part: In the heart of Provence, the Southern Rhone Valley stretches from Montélimar to Avignon. Benefiting from a Mediterranean climate, the vineyards are located on gently sloping hills and plateaus.The red and rosé wines come from Grenache, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Carignan, as well as other unusual grape varieties such as Counoise and Vaccarèse. For white wines, we find not only the same grape varieties as those used in the northern zone, but also other varieties such as white grenache, clairette, or bourboulenc.

Tour of the main Rhone Valley appellations

Throughout the editions of the Tour de France, certain stages are eagerly awaited by (tele)spectators such as the ascent of Mont Ventoux or the roads overlooking the Ardèche gorges which offer an exceptional panorama. The reputation of the Vallée-du-Rhône and Côtes-du-Rhône appellations is also well established with many prestigious wines.

Small outline of the map :

  • The northern part of the Rhone Valley possesses illustrious wines for laying down such as Côte-Rôtie, the oldest vineyard in the valley with a structured red wine marked by notes of fruit, spices and violet. In this region, other wines can also be distinguished, notably Hermitage, available in white and red, or Cornas and Condrieu.
  • The southern part of the Rhone Valley also contains prestigious wines such as Châteauneuf-du-Pape, a wine for laying down, available in red or white. We also find Vacqueyras, with its rich and powerful red, perfumed rosé and balanced white, or Gigondas and Beaumes-de-Venise.

Gourmet stages of the Rhône Valley

If the spectators will be thousands on the roadside, many are also the gourmet tourists who travel around the region to appreciate the different specialties of the region.

On the menu of our stages in the Rhone Valley:

To start the meal well, there is nothing better than to appreciate Lyon's specialities such as the famous rosette of Lyon, the Jesus, the grattons, the Apron of Sapper or the Cervelle des Canuts (Brain of the Canuts).

For the dish, you can taste different specialities such as the Daube de boeuf au Cornas, the Poularde de demi-deuil, or the Quenelles lyonnaise.

Cheese or dessert? Both! We taste with greediness a rigotte of Condrieu, an ice cream with nougat of Montélimar, or bugnes lyonnaises.

The comment of the stage: Land of wines, the Rhone Valley offers a wide range of tastes that will delight all wine enthusiasts and numerous wine tourists.

Quentin (Les Grappes)

Do you want to discover the vineyards of the Rhône?

Les Grappes offers many activities and tastings at the winegrowers of the Rhône region

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