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For the 10th stage of the Tour de France this Tuesday July 6, cyclists followed the vineyards of Savoie. A few kilometers to follow in the first half hour before they joined the Isère, then the Drôme to find the vineyard in Valence.
After a day of rest in the high mountains, in Tignes, the Tour de France riders slowly descended. They departed from Albertville, the city that made its mark in 1992 with the Olympic Games and its events spanning one of the largest ski areas in the world. Its brilliant opening ceremony, imagined by choreographer Philippe Decouflé, was also a milestone.
Keep your eye from Fréterive
You had to keep an eye from the start of the stage because the Savoyard vineyard is not huge, with 2,100 hectares, or 1% of the French vineyard. In addition, there was only a small part that was crossed by the Tour. The first vines appeared on the north side of the road, to the right of the racers, a dozen kilometers from Albertville, very quickly, in the town of Fréterive. Immediately after, we saw the castle of Miolans in Saint-Pierre d´Albigny, the village of Saint-Jean de la Porte, then those, still in the middle of the vines, of Cruet and Arbin. This latter terroir is known for producing red wines for aging, made from the Mondeuse grape variety, whose spicy scents evoke Syrah from the Rhône.
Chignin and Apremont
In Montmélian, the vines continue to cover the lower slopes when the road turns slightly to north-west. Very quickly we arrived at Chignin, one of the best-known vineyards for some of its ample whites, the Chignin-Bergeron from the Roussanne grape – another nod to the northern Rhône valley. This was where the panorama opened majestically on the other side of the road: on the left, cyclists discovered Mont Granier whose slopes are home to the vines of Apremont, one of the most popular wines of Savoie. It is lively and fresh, made from the Jacquère grape like its neighbor from the Cluse de Chambéry, Abymes.
Tasting at the stages
It is not known if racers had the opportunity to discover the wine richness of the vineyards they passed through. What we do know is that the Savoie Wines association organized tastings for tourists and admirers in the stopover towns that combined liquid and solid appellations, including the many Savoyard cheeses. For the 9th stage, the CIVS, Interprofessional Committee for Savoie Wines, was in Cluses (Haute-Savoie) and presented the wines of the part of the vineyard located in this department (to the north going towards Lake Geneva) like Ayze. Since Sunday, the stands have been set up in Albertville and have done the same for wines from the Combe de Savoie with cheeses from Beaufort or Abondance. Two estates presented their production there, Pascal Paget from Chignin and Diane Gounel from the aptly named Domaine Vendange in Saint-Pierre d´Albigny.
Photo I. Bachelard, CIVS
Based on the material of Terre de Vins