The Tour de France is back, and what better way to celebrate it than to do our own accompanying tour that takes in one of France's greatest exports: wine. From the slopes of the Savoie hills to the little-known wine grown in Paris, we've picked a bottle to drink at every stage of the Tour de France, as you take in the twist, turns and trials of the GC hopefuls as they battle it out from Copenhagen to the Champs-Élysées. Get the t-shirt, join the tour and settle in for the ride.



🚩 Stage 1 Copenhague - Copenhague

Vejrhøj Sterling 2016

Believe it or not, there are four main grape growing areas in Denmark and the closest to the capital is Sjælland (Zealand). Vejrhøj winery in the hilly Odsherred is a small but award-winning vineyard that grows mostly Solaris grapes. The best bottle to try is Sterling 2016, a buttery, oaked Solaris with floral notes.

Stage 2 Roskilde - Nyborg

Dyrehøj Vingaard RÖS Solaris Prestige 2018

On the northernmost edge of the peninsula that the majority of the second stage takes place in is Dyrehøj Vingaard, the largest winery in Denmark. Run by a New Zealand winemaker, they are particularly well known for sweet wines so try their award-winning Solaris as a gateway.

Stage 3 Vejle - Sonderborg

Skærsøgaard DONS Cuvée BRUT 2017

Just south of the startline in Vejle is the only winery with a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) in Denmark. Skærsøgaard is Denmark's first and most award-winning winery for it variety of wines but the one to try first would certainly be one of their sparkling varieties so opt for DONS Cuvée BRUT 2017 to toast the final stage in Denmark.


Stage 4 Dunkerque - Calais

Bruno Paillard 'Premiere Cuvée' Brut Champagne

There are few, or no, known wineries further north than champagne, and in fact, most of the first half of the stage bypass any winemaking region. So, to celebrate the first stage on home soil, what better than a classic champagne from France's northernmost wine region?

Stage 5 Lille Metropole - Arenberg Porte du Hainut 

Billecart-Salmon Cuvée Elisabeth Salmon

Carrying on with the closest wine region, it has to be another champagne for another time trial. Renowned producer Billecart-Salmon's rosé cuvée has cherry notes, the acidity and sweetness of tangerines and a rosy flavour as well as hue. It's an homage to one of the founders of the champagne house and it's always a winner. 

Stage 6 Binche - Longwy

Moselle ‘Les Gryphées', Château de Vaux 2020

For the first time on the tour, the riders will be going through a recognised wine-producing region: Lorraine. Here, expect Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Aligoté, Auxerrois and the burgundian grapes. Auxerrois is only grown in this area so it's the one to try and this 2020 bottle is fresh and delicate with white flowers and citrus.

Stage 7 Tomblaine - La Super Planche des Belles Filles

Domaine Rieflé Alsace Riesling 2020

Six generations of the Rieflé family have been making wine from these Alsatian vines, just south of Colmar. Their classic Riesling is good year after year, with a crisp flavour of peach and pineapple. It errs on the sweeter side of dry.

Stage 8 Dole - Lausanne

Bouchard Père & Fils 'Les Lavières' Savigny-lès-Beaune Premier Cru 2014

The starting point for the eighth stage is just 60 kilometres from Beaune, the capital of the Burgundy region. Dive into one of the region's more affordable fine burgundies, full of velvety tannins, rich dark fruits and dried herbs. It's great value and 100% Pinot Noir.

Stage 9 Aigle - Chatel Les Portes du Soleil

Ça Boit Libre M18 2019

Made from the mostly forgotten Chasselas grape, this Savoie wine is produced right on the border where our stage takes place. The wine is a natural orange vintage with a pure and precise flavour and tons of minerality from a winemaker to follow: Damien Bastian.

Stage 10 Morzine les Portes du Soleil - Megeve

Domaine Belluard, Le Feu 2019

Made from Gringet grapes, which are indigenous to hills of the Savoie’s Arve Valley, this is perhaps the best expression of them. It's a wine full of tension and you can't help but taste the alpine air as you drink it. Flavours of quince, pear and peach come through. The winemaker, Dominique Belluard, sadly took his life in 2021 so raise a toast to him as you drink the region's finest natural wine.


Stage 11 Albertville - Col du Granon

GD Vajra Albe 2016

The tour skirts right along the border with Italy on this stage, and not just any part of Italy but Piemonte. The region boasts the DOCG of Barolo, the most renowned  Italian wine there is, so it seems only right to squeeze some into the tour de vin when the chance arises. 2016 is widely hailed as an excellent year for Barolo, so expect the classic flavours of blueberries, leather, spice and floral notes in full force in this bottle and perhaps Colbrelli or Caruso will sail to the top of the Col du Granon to take the stage.

Stage 12 Briancon - Alpe D'Huez

Les raisins suspendus, Embruns des cimes 2020

A classic stage calls for a not-so-classic wine in the form of this natural wine from the alps. It's the first ever cuvée from the winery, Les Raisins Suspendus, which has three hectares of old vines and has only been in production since 2018. It's a light, fruity and fragrant wine with an ABV of 10% and there were only ever 300 bottles made.

Stage 13 Bourg D'Oisans - Saint Etienne

Crozes-Hermitage Alberic Bouvet, Domaine Gilles Robin 2018

A joy for all French wine lovers, the tour winds its way through the northern Rhône region in this stage, which naturally calls for a big, bold bottle of red. Syrah is the main grape here and in this Crozes-Hermitage from Domaine Gilles Robin, you'll find a classic, juicy, velvety wine to sink into.

Stage 14 Saint-Etienne - Mende

Gilles Bonnefoy, Côtes du Forez, La Madone 2020

Gamay may be most associated with the Beaujolais appellation, but it grows exceedingly well on the volcanic soil of the Massif Central, where the riders will be rolling through on stage 14. Wines from the Auvergne region are some of the oldest in France, but don't get the recognition they deserve. One quick way to be a convert is by trying Gilles Bonnefoy's La Madone, which is a truly excellent expression of Gamay's light, fragrant notes.

Stage 15 Rodez - Carcassone

Château Ollieux Romanis, Cuvée Prestige Corbières Boutenac Rouge

Just east of the finish line at Carcassone is a historic family vineyard that has been producing wine for decades. Château Ollieux Romanis' Cuvée Prestige is a blend of grapes grown on vines over 100 years old, mostly made up of Carignan, Grenache and Syrah, meaning flavours of black fruits and spice. 

Stage 16 Carcassonne - Foix

Martial Richard Blanquette de Limoux

Thankfully, sparkling wine across the entirety of France is starting to get its time in the sun, rather than champagne taking all the limelight. A highlight of the country's bubbly output is this Blanquette de Limoux and there's a high chance the riders will be skirting very close to the vines where it's produced. It's a delightful wine with an elegant bubble structure, honeyed note and a fresh, floral finish.

Stage 17 Saint-Gaudens - Peyragudes

Chateau le Roc, Cotes du Frontonnais, ‘Le Classique’ 2018

There are no recognised wine producing regions on this stage of the tour so we'll go with the closest: the Côtes du frontonnais, north of Toulouse. Negrette is the local grape and, while unremarkable as a single varietal, it is most commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah to produce earthy wines. This example has notes of violet, Morello cherries and almonds with soft, juicy tannins.

Stage 18 Lourdes - Hautacam

Chateau Jolys Cuvée Jean Jurançon

Is a Tour de France without a stage in Pau even a tour de France? They seem to think so as 2022 does not feature the famous time trial city but this stage does skirt its borders. Lucky for us wine drinkers as it dips right into the Jurançon region so a sweet wine is on the cards. Less sickly than Sauternes, this bottle is characterised by a citrus acidity, tropical fruits and of course, a honey finish.

Stage 19  Castelnau-Magnoac - Cahors

Château de Haute-Serre Cahors 1985

As we reach the final days of the race, this stage ends fittingly in a very well known French wine-making village: Cahors. Here, Malbec is the name of the game and as it's the last weekend, why not indulge in a 36-year-old vintage from one of the region's best producers? It's a big wine, full-bodied with lots of tannins, blackberries, black cherries, leather, oak and spice on the palette. In other words, this is a serious wine.

Stage 20 Lacapelle-Marival - Rocamadour

Château Lagrézette 'Merveille de Rocamadour' 2015

After a time trial, you need something refreshing so a local blend of Chardonnay and Viognier, grown on vineyards surrounding the finish line, is just the ticket. Apricot, rosehip and peach blend with brioche notes on the palette. This is a lively and expressive wine for what will hopefully be a lively and expressive penultimate stage.

Stage 21 Paris la Defense Arena - Paris Champs-Elysees  🏁

Clos Montmatre 2020

Up in Montmatre, the bohemian area of Paris with a slightly 'eff you' attitude to the rules, you might stumble across a very unexpected sight: vineyards. There are 12 in the area, but none of them produce wine that you can buy commercially. Instead, you have to go to an annual festival and pay a fair whack for a not particularly great wine. But who cares, it's the best kept secret in the wine world and that's worth knowing.

June 06, 2022