French Wine, Tommy Simpson Mont Ventoux and the Tour de France

I had a bit of a deja vu moment recently (It is 45 years since I saw Crosby Stills Nash and Young at Wembley Stadium but the album of that name has nothing to do with this post) when I received an Instagram post from a wine domain I follow. In my book on Amazon – Thyme for Provence – I have a chapter of my strange and abortive attempt to pay my respects at the memorial to the English cyclist Tommy Simpson on Mont Ventoux. Even though I was making the pilgrimage in a new car we never made it but I will one day. As I say the full tale is in the book. Simpson was a sporting hero to the young me and also one of those JFK moments that I remember exactly where I was when I heard of his tragic death on the Tour de France. The Instagram post was from Domaine des Anges at Mormoiron in Provence, France, a vineyard we have visited and bought from on our travels. Unusually the domaine has a strong Irish connection, something you do not expect to find in the South of France and as my wife is very Irish in her background it was fun and interesting to find their wines. It can be reached via Mazan or on the long descent from the lavender fields of Sault. It is well worth a visit. The connection to Simpson is that they have produced a special Ventoux Rouge called ‘Tom and the Peloton’ and this is available in England from several outlets. It has a fabulous label showing Tommy leading the way up Mont Ventoux which tragically on the last time he fell about a kilometer short of the summit where his memorial now stands. For me an evocative posting and a reminder that my writing was topical on this occasion and I was pleased that he was more widely remembered by the people of this gorgeous region of Provence.

I have also had the opportunity to write a full book about our travels around the vineyards and cellars of France – FRENCH WINE UNCORKED. Please enjoy it and be inspired to make the journey when we are able to travel once more.

Published by Neal Atherton

My passion is writing about travel and particularly French travel. I have traveled extensively in France and wine and food has always featured on my travels and now in my books. My friends always await our return from France with the latest new finds from the vineyards and I was more than happy to keep sampling. I am from Lancashire in the north of England but have now relocated to Somerset (nearer to France) and able to enjoy devoting my time to writing and new discoveries. France came late to me as a destination, in fact so conservative was my travel upbringing that it was a long time before I even ventured to Cornwall. I have more than made up for the slow start and have enjoyed helping many others with their travel plans to France and especially to Paris and Provence. I have written a series of four books on France - Three are now on Amazon:THE FIRST TIME WE SAW PARIS about our first steps in French Travel, THYME FOR PROVENCE our discovery of that glorious region and the people and places we met and discovered, A DREAM OF PARIS a personal memoir of our times in Paris with friends. France has been fun, we have been burgled on our very first arrival, we discovered the best cafe that changed our travel lives on the very next day, we learnt about French wine, we escaped from the most horrendous gite, we found the best of gites, B & B's and people, we laughed and cried with dear friends in Paris, I was hosed down by a crazy owner to cool me down in Provence, our breakfast in a remote village was served by the French army, we stepped totally out of our comfort zone and discovered the best of French culture. The experiences are varied and many and please come with me as I retell the stories and my footsteps are there to follow. I am also writing about ancestry and genealogy and my first book about our incredible family story themed around war and the military is now on Amazon - A BULLET FOR LIFE. I love the English game of cricket, golf, soccer, photography, walking and cooking. Oh, and travel of course.

3 thoughts on “French Wine, Tommy Simpson Mont Ventoux and the Tour de France

    1. Thank you for the comment and it is a beautiful region that I am missing quite a lot at the moment. Hope you get chance to see the books. They are written about our travels over a 25 year period and are aimed at inspiring someone to enjoy France as we have. We are safe and well here as I hope you are – fortunately on the coast and in an area with very few cases of the virus.

      Liked by 1 person

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