7. Tour de France – Tour de Géologie – Tour du Vin

Tour de France - Cover - MCAL - 1
Tour de France 2017 - route - MCAL - 2
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Tour de France 2017 – route – MCAL – 2

Tour de France - Cover - MCAL - 1
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Tour de France – Cover – MCAL – 1

Champagne Area

Follow or cycle the trail of bubbles. Across this epic wine region. Where you can drink champagne in many of the magnificent champagne bars around.

Madame de Pompadour stated that champagne is the only drink that enhances a woman’s beauty.

Champagne is first of all and foremost a real wine. It is a proper vignoble with a lot of diversity. What makes it so interesting is that there are as many different champagnes as winemakers. Champagnes are really rooted in a landscape upon which both man and nature have bestowed an epic tranquility.

The Montagne the Reims is one of the 3 key champagne zones. It is a gentle plateau where vines roll in waves up to woodland across the top.

There are about 16,000 champagne grape growers, and 4,300 make their own wines. Therefore there are so many different tastes and related stories behind.

Further to the south you find the gentle chardonnay slopes of the Cote des Blancs.

To the east the Marne river is the area with vine slopes of independent producers. They have been working with pinot meaner since Dom Perignon in the 17th century. Perignon is indicated to be the inventor of champagne. He also promoted it with pioneering blending, with corkage and thicker bottles that did not explode.

In both Reims and Epernay the Avenue de Champagne is rich in the great names. Moet & Chandon, Pol Roger, Perrier-Jouet. You will also find different champagne bars that showcase and promote the smaller, less known independent producers. Have a try, it is certainly worth.

Remember, ” Too much of anything is a bad thing. But too much champagne is just right ” according to Scott Fitzgerald.

Moet & Chandon

The grandeur and richness of Moet comes form its lands and know-how. The estate has 1,200 hectares, each with 10,000 vines and each produces enough grapes for one bottle. They are fermented in some 25 km of tunnels, beneath the streets of Epernay and of Hotel Moet, the grandest of all its buildings.

Imperial, Grand Vintage and Grand Vintage Rose are blended from 3 grapes. Pinot noir, for the structure. Meunier for the texture. And Chardonnay for elegance.

Blending the distinctive Moet Imperial is more so rational, using previous years’ blends for consistency blending.

Blending of vintage Moet however is done emotional and is only released in outstanding years.

Champagne is the ultimate social drink, a superb wine that is not drunk alone. Often the Friday begins with a bottle of champagne, to celebrate the beginning of the weekend.

Champagne area - MCAL - 7
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Champagne area – MCAL – 7
Tour de France - Champagne area - MCAL - 6
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Tour de France – Champagne area – MCAL – 6
Tour de France - Wine areas - MCAL - 5
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Tour de France – Wine areas – MCAL – 5
Tour de France - Geological Column, Time Scale, Wine areas - MCAL - 4
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Tour de France – Geological Column, Time Scale, Wine areas – MCAL – 4
Tour de France - Geological Map - MCAL - 3
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Tour de France – Geological Map – MCAL – 3

Tour de France 2017

The Tour de France is one of the world’s most fabulous and notorious sporting events.

From its humble origins over a century ago to its present day glory, the Tour de France has always been a race that has inspired fascination. The exploits of the riders, Tommy Simpson’s death of the slopes of Mont Ventoux, Lance Armstrong’s controversial career and Bradley Wiggins’ historic win, continue to enthral audiences worldwide.

Géologie Massif du Galibier - MCAL
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Géologie Massif du Galibier – MCAL

On your own flat or curved screen at home, by watching the Tour de France, you also experience the thrill and intensity of the Tour de France for example during its most challenging climbs. From the dizzying heights of the 2,715-metre ascent of Col de la Bonette to the historic Great St Bernard Pass.
On Col du Galibier, not far away from my own 6 month fieldwork area in the Italian Cottian Alps, with its incredibly tortuous 15 percent gradient climb.

A tough gradient that also my brand new Citroën 2CV  Deux Chevaux, Fourgonnette model (16 hp, 425 cc) and its driver had to experience and conquer back in 1973. Obtaining a maximum speed uphill of only some 15 kilometres in gear one. With the big load of pieces of la Bella Italia. Rock samples for my thesis. Just to mention the garnet schists, augen gneisses, grafite- and cloritoid micashists, cargneules, marbles, schistes lustres, prasinites and ovardites of Forte Fenestrelle, serpentinites and ofi-calcites. All first subducted, later obductic and now exhumed Palaeozoic basement to Jurassic metamorphosed rocks.

And Alpe d’Huez’s famous hairpins, where legendary cyclists such as Fausto Coppi and Marco Pantani once showed off their physical strength and stamina, and blasted home with unbelievable acceleration and will-power that left other cyclists tasting their On your own flat or curved screen at home, by watching the Tour de France, you also experience the thrill and intensity of the Tour de France for example during its most challenging climbs. From the dizzying heights of the 2,715-metre ascent of Col de la Bonette to the historic Great St Bernard Pass.

Tour de France of 1989 is surely the greatest ever. A race that saw Greg LeMond overturn a 50-second deficit to Laurent Fignon on the final stage on the Champs Élysées to snatch the title by a mere eight seconds. After three weeks and more than 3200 kilometres in the saddle, this remains the smallest margin of victory in the Tour’s 100+ year history.

As a geologist and explorationist for me the Tour de France simultaneously represents a fascinating Tour de Geologie and Tour de Vin.

While the brave cyclists, such as Froome, Quintana, Uran, Aru, Ten Dam and the whole peloton cross the French countryside and mountains, they also cycle cross-sections through the geologic history, my geological maps, the maps and vineyards of the famous wine districts of France, that I avidly consult during the different stages.

An extra exciting dimension to the emotions of the Tour and cyclists:

Tour de France, Tour de Geologie, Tour de Vin; Bycicles, Geology, Viticulture, Three-in-One for me.

Sunday 23th July, 2017, 19:20 p.m., Champs-Élysées, Froome or Quintana ?

Please have a look at the maps, the geology and how this influences on the terroir and specifics of the different wine areas. Most maps are taken from the comprehensive book of James E. Wilson, Terroir, The Role of Geology, Climate, and Culture in the Making of French Wines – 1998 – ISBN 0-520-21936-8.

Salut, enjoy !

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Doei, salu2, ciao, até logo, grüssen, cordialement, salut, добрый день, ajoo, tur kos bon mi dushi hendenan na Switi Sranan i mi famiri na switi Korsou, tan bun allamala !

 

 

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