The Tour de France Has Its Own Champagne for VIPs

Apparently, being one of the best cyclists in the world comes with some perks.

The Tour de France -- aka the only cycling event most people can name off the top of their head -- kicked off in Brest over the weekend on Saturday, June 26. And if you happened to be hanging out in the VIP area, you may have had the chance to sip on a very exclusive new tipple: Champagne Castelnau -- the Tour de France's official Champagne sponsor -- has released a limited-edition bottling to be served exclusively in the VIP areas of the departure and arrival villages of each stage of the 23-day event.

Champagne Castelnau cuvée Véloce -- as the exclusive bubbly is called -- is "named in admiration of the sheer velocity that the astounding athletes reach throughout the course," according to the brand. The French word "véloce" can be translated to English words like "speedy," "rapid," or "swift." Champagne Castelnau also says the bottling is intended to "commemorate its 10-year-long partnership with Amaury Sport Organization, the organizers of Le Tour de France." This year's race will wrap up in Paris on July 18.

108th Tour de France 2021 - Stage 2
Dylan Van Baarle of The Netherlands and Team INEOS Grenadiers & Tim Declercq of Belgium and Team Deceuninck - Quick-Step lead The Peloton during the 108th Tour de France 2021, Stage 2 a 183,5km stage from Perros-Guirec to Mûr-de-Bretagne Guerlédan 293m / @LeTour / #TDF2021 / on June 27, 2021 in Mûr-de-Bretagne Guerlédan, France. Tim de Waele / Staff/Getty Images

As for the wine itself, Castelnau describes the cuvée as a limited-edition bottling of their Brut NV blend -- billed as "the youngest and freshest wine in their portfolio." Incumbent Cheffe de Caves Elisabeth Sarcelet added that this blend had been selected specifically for a celebration after "hours of endurance."

Meanwhile, Véloce is far from Champagne Castelnau's first Tour de France-inspired wine. Back in 2019, the brand similarly celebrated its partnership with Amaury Sport Organization with a limited-edition Brut Reserve NV bottling called "Cuvée Siècle" to commemorate a "century" of the Yellow Jersey. And more recently, earlier this year, Castelnau released their Hors Catégorie C.M 1993 -- named after the height of the Col de Madeleine, the most difficult mountain pass from the Tour de France in 2013, which is the same year the bubbly was bottled.

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