Skip to content

Team TEW Rides the South of France

T. Edward Wines, New York wine importer/distributor, Organic wine importer, La Provencal Sainte Victoire

On Sunday, a few of us rode La Provençale Sainte-Victoire, a 95KM ride in Provence. A stunning course that included three pretty serious climbs (totaling 4,130 feet), and some harrowing descents, it was the most beautiful 95K that I have ever ridden, scented with lilacs, lavender and shrub Provencal herbs. And while my training had been pretty threadbare, I dug the paced commitment required to reach the top of Sainte Victoire, Côte de Bèdes and Col du Sambuc (a 6.5 mile climb). The guys fared a bit faster, pace-lining with some winter training to their legs. But we all loved riding in France, where cycling is a revered spectator sport. 

Riding up or down, there wasn’t much in the way of flats. But the sun was shining and the stubborn head wind never let up. We rode by Picasso’s home. We climbed up Sainte-Victoire. There were olive trees and red poppies. And some stunning rock face at the top of each peak.

LPSV2015_95km_mini

T. Edward Wines, New York wine importer/distributor, Organic wine importerAtop the first climb, Sainte Victoire

T. Edward Wines, New York wine importer/distributorRain & Gigi at the finish

T. Edward Wines, New York wine importer/distributor, Domaine la Suffrene, Bandol, Karen Ulrich for T. Edward WinesIn the vineyards with Cedric Gravier at Domaine la Suffrene in Bandol, overlooking the Mediterranean with soils of stoney calcareous clay.

“My grandfather, at the beginning of the ’60’s started to plant vines, so it’s all new first generation,” said Cedric, “which is very important for the soil. It’s very pure because it was only forests before.” With a total of almost 60ha, 30ha of which are planted on the slopes pictured here, Cedric farms organically.

T. Edward Wines, New York wine importer/distributor, Domaine la Suffrene, Bandol, Karen Ulrich for T. Edward Wines

“The Bandol area is one of the oldest appellations in Provence, and it was known for the reds because we have terroir for strong, big reds that you can age, which isn’t common in our region,” he said. “It’s a big shame for us that rosé took their place. It’s good because we’re selling it, but for the future, we don’t want to forget the reds. It was the beginning of the appellation. But for the rosé, we have big typicity now. Rosé is now a full wine.” Required to age the reds for a minimum of one and a half years, winemakers in Bandol cannot release rosé until March 1st. “We have rosé made with mourvedre, which needs more time in the winter to express itself. It’s very closed. In the Côte de Provence, you can release in December, which is very soon after harvest.”

T. Edward Wines, New York wine importer/distributor, Domaine la Suffrene, Cedric Gravier, Karen Ulrich for T. Edward Wines

“You don’t have to be afraid to drink one year old rosé,” said Cedric, “because it’s really wonderful. It’s another problem with most of the people who are afraid to drink it. I really prefer it one or two years after, but it’s quite impossible to sell it like that. After three or four years, it’s less aromatic and more complex. It’s a different wine. All people want a younger vintage because they think it’s not good if it’s an older vintage.”

T. Edward Wines, New York wine importer/distributor, Domaine la Suffrene

.

T. Edward Wines, New York wine importer/distributor On the road in Gigondas with Philippe Cartoux of Domaine des Espiers and Marc Pichon of Anne Pichon 

.

T. Edward Wines

.

T. Edward Wines, New York wine importer/distributor, Organic wine importer/distributor

.

T. Edward Wines, New York fine wine importer & distributor, organic wine importerRiding Gigondas with PC, TB, Marc Pichon, KU & JP

.

T. Edward Wines, New York wine importer/distributor, Organic wine importer/distributor, Karen Ulrich for T. Edward WinesPhilippe Cartoux of Domaine des Espieres with his Great Cuvee of Rhone Valley for the T. Edward Bike Tour

.

T. Edward Wines, New York wine importer/distributor, Organic winesDinner at À la Maison Les Mimosas with the Italians, including Gianfranco Alessandria, Mauro Veglio and Silvia Altare

.

T. Edward Wines, Organic wine importer/distributor, Mauro Veglio#DrinkBigOrGoHome – Elio Altare La Morra 1995 & Mauro Veglio Vigneto Castelletto 2010

.

T. Edward Wines, New York organic wine importer, New York wine distributor, Chateau CoussinIn the cellar at Chateau Coussin

.

T. Edward Wines, New York organic wine importer/distributorOlivier Sumeire of Chateau Coussin

.

T. Edward Wines, New York wine importer/distributor, Chateau Coussin

.

T. Edward Wines, New York fine wine importer/distributor, Chateau Coussin

.

T. Edward Wines, New York importer/distributor of organic wines, Karen Ulrich for T. Edward Wines

.

T. Edward Wines, New York fine wine importer/distributor, Chateau Coussin, Karen Ulrich for T. Edward Wines

.

T. Edward Wines, Chateau Coussin, Cesar a Sumeire, Karen Ulrich for T. Edward Wines

.

T. Edward Wines, New York fine wine importer/distributor, Karen Ulrich for T. Edward Wines

.

T. Edward Wines, New York fine wine importer/distributor, Chateau Coussin, Karen Ulrich for T. Edward Wines

.

T. Edward Wines, New York organic wine importer/distributor, Chateau Coussin, Karen Ulrich for T. Edward WinesAnabelle & Olivier Sumeire

.

T. Edward Wines, New York organic wine importer/distributor, Karen Ulrich for T. Edward WinesMauro Veglio with TB

.

T. Edward Wines, New York fine wine importer, Organic wine distributor, Karen Ulrich for T. Edward WinesFrisbee at Chateau Coussin

.

T. Edward Wines, Organic wine importer, New York wine distributor, Karen Ulrich for T. Edward WinesBruna & Gianfranco Alessandria

For more on Domaine des Espiers, read here.

For more on Anne Pichon, read here.

For more on Domaine la Suffrene in Bandol, read here.

For more on Chateau Coussin, read here.

For more on Mauro Veglio, read here.

For more on Gianfranco Alessandria, read here.

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. we had a very good time with you! many thanks for this occasion of meeting
    Daniela & Mauro

    April 30, 2015
  2. I’d like to honor that bike tshirt! when is the next ride?

    May 3, 2015

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s