The end of week 2 sees the riders tackle the Pyrénées mountain range.
Stage 13 – Pau to Lourdes – on July 15 looks to be an exciting one. Starting at an altitude of about 160m, this stage features a punishing climb up to and over the 1709m Col d’Aubisque. The riders will climb over 1200m in 21km from Laruns to the summit!
So let’s have a look at some of the food and wine of the Haute-Pyrénées region, and the Basque towns of Pau and Lourdes.
Garbure is a kind of peasant stew made with vegetables, beans and confit of duck or goose.
Pau and the Béarn region is also famous for its production of duck, cured ham from ‘Porc Noir’, their rare black skinned pigs, and Brebis cheeses. Brebis cheeses are made from ewe’s milk, and are quite soft and creamy with a lovely nutty flavour.
Seafood also features heavily on local menus, given the area’s close proximity to the coast.
The foothills of the Pyrenees are dotted with vineyards and wineries. The vines enjoy both oceanic and mountainous climatic conditions. Jurancon is a locally produced white wine made from mainly Petit and Gros Manseng, and Courbu grape varieties.
For more on the region’s grapes and wine production, have a look at this Gourmet Traveller article -
King Henry IV was born at Pau chateau in 1553, and it’s said he was christened with the local drop – The Jurancon!
Le Tour will be televised in Oz on SBS One.
During the coverage, check out the food spots sponsored by Sizzler. Audio mixed by Full Circle Audio.