Monday, July 26, 2010

Tour de France Wrap-up – Live Yellow, LIVE STRONG

Reminder: The Boboli Grilled Pizza Recipe Challenge still running. Check out the challenge and entry information.

Three weeks in July. Twenty-one teams, 189 riders. Three thousand, six hundred and forty-two kilometers. Many different countries, several distinct disciplines, and lots of action. Beautiful scenery, history and regional foods, wines and cultures. That’s the Tour de France.

Last week in my roll-up of bloggers paying homage to the Tour we saw many different perspectives on the faces and places of Holland, France and Spain. Finishing up this weekend the tour rides to the town of Bordeaux. The Bordeaux region is on the Tour route each year, although the last time the tour rode finished in the town of Bordeaux was in 2003. The race will finish in Pauillac for the first time ever on Saturday. That route is the final time trial of the Tour and the results from the day will likely decide the victor for another tour. It is fitting that the race should wrap-up this way in Bordeaux, a location that sets the tone for much of the wine world year after year.

I’ve only enjoyed a couple of Bordeaux wines in my life and the best was a white from Graves in 2006. I met the winemaker and saw pictures of the family chateau where this wine had been made for years. I told him of my winemaking adventures and he offered words of encouragement for taking up a noble craft. Pretty cool!

As luck would have it my winemaking would present a Bordeaux friendly story for the last day of the tour. Earlier in the year we started a Petit Verdot wine from a kit. Traditionally used in Bordeaux style blends, this grape is full and dark with a solid earthiness to it, and a bit of pepper spice. We bottled ours today and the early taste bodes well for the future of this wine. I even used a small amount of this wine with some Cabernet I had available. I expect to be adding some Syrah and Malbec to create a complex blend with some a wonderful combination of aromas and flavors.

The scenery along the race course of the two days leading up to the finale was exceptional. Rolling hills of vines and little roads connecting clusters of weather worn buildings with the magnificent chateaus. A visit to Bordeaux is on my list, but a visit to some of their wines is shorter term!

Check out the Tour web site for all the results, video and stories from what the advertisements were calling "The most epic race ever!"

To start the final day Lance Armstrong and the Radio Shack Team caused a bit of a stir with unapproved jerseys emblazoned with a huge 28 on the back. 28, twenty-eight million people living with cancer world-wide. Conservative at best, the executives of the foundation and Lance will all say that. 28 million. That is a lot of people. I am one of them. Please live well and LIVESTRONG. Take care of yourself, get out and do stuff just because you can and be an example of living the one life we all get. Get involved with LIVESTRONG, the American Cancer Society or any number of other organizations battling cancer. Save a life, reduce someone’s suffering, FIGHT BACK!



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