Tour de France: French wines take centre stage in 2016

Thursday June 02 2016 by Vitisphere

French wines will be showcased during the 2016 Tour de France. A wine pavilion will be erected at each of the 21 stages, including those abroad. The news was officially announced on May 10 in Narbonne following a meeting between Frédéric Rouanet, chairman of the Aude wine growers’ association, and Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour de France, in the presence of Jérôme Despey, chairman of the FranceAgriMer wine board. The pavilion will be located in the Tour Village – arrivals – and the Public Relations area – departures – at every stage, including those in French regions that do not produce wine. Discussions are underway at the marketing board federation CNIV to select the wines. These will represent all of France’s wine regions, even those the Tour de France does not go through, stressed Jérôme Despey.

The agreement puts an end to the controversy sparked by the partnership between the Tour and Chilean firm Cono Sur whose Bicicleta brand was made the official Tour de France wine. The sponsorship deal in fact only involves seven of the 190 countries where the event is broadcast, namely the United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States, Poland, Russia, Latvia and Columbia, as well as the areas outside France covered by the ride such as Spain, Andorra and Switzerland this year, where the wine will be showcased. This prompted anger amongst Aude wine growers who threatened to obstruct the sporting event. Their anger has now been appeased: “We can only be satisfied. We plan to meet up again after the event to review the outcome and see how it can be improved upon”, said the delighted chairman of the Aude wine growers’ organisation.

Industry chiefs will also be mulling opportunities for sponsoring foreign stages of the Tour, like the deal struck by Cono Sur, which ends in 2017. “The Tour de France promotes the French regions, including its wine regions. We are delighted that tension amongst wine growers subsided after they expressed legitimate feelings that we fully understood”, concluded Christian Prudhomme.


Source: Vitisphere. Photo: ASO


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