There was a bit more action yesterday. Maybe we can get some more. After the Etna-stage, Geraint Thomas said that no one wantet to dig deep the first week in the Giro. But they cannot hold back too long. Today it is top-finish after a hard climb, then a rest day, and Tuesday there is time trial. If they dig deep today, they will at least have the rest day for restitution. After Tuesday and the time trial, there will be time differences.
A grand tour is won in the mountains and the time trials. On these stages it is possible to win significant time, which one do not do on flat sprint stages. The strong climbers, who may not be very good time trialers, may try to get at time buffer before the time trial.
The stage starts i Molise, follows the coast of Abruzzo, before turning inland to the highest place in Abruzzo: Blockhaus. As we understand form the name, this is not an Italian name. It is German, from the time the Habsburgs dominated the area. Blockhaus is a guards house.
When I come to this area when writing about wine and Giro d’Italia, I include a reminder of the typical naming of classifications in Italy: They often are [Grape] + [region]. Montepulciano d’Abruzzo are wines made from Montepulciano, in Abruzzo. Trebbiano d’Abruzzo are wines made from Trebbiano in Abruzzo. But it can also be wine type + place. In Tuscany, there is a town named Montepulciano. There they produce Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. It is made from Sangiovese, and the Montepulciano grape has to my knowledge no connection to the town Montepulciano. The first time I drank Montepulciano d*Abuzzo, or at least the first time I remember drinking it, I did not know that. I was probably not the first, and will not be the last to make this error. I knew Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, at least to some extent. I was surprised how light bodied the Montepulciano d*Abuzzo was, compared to the Montepulciano wine I knew. But I eventually learned the difference.
Controguerra is located further north from today’s stage, and we do not include it this year.There is also a DOCG-classification for Montepulciano-wine from Abruzzo, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Colline Teramane. But this district is also to the north of today’s stage. Cerasuolo overlaps with Montepulciano d*Abuzzo and Trebbiano d’Abruzzo. This DOC is for rosé. There is also a wider DOC, called Abruzzo DOC, which has brought some high quality Montepulciano wines under DOC-Classificatoin, like som Terre di Casauria, Terre dei Vestini and Alto Tirino. But apart from this very brief information, I have only found information on this in Italian. And as I do not read Italian, it is not of very much help to me.
The stage goes through the small areas Villamagna DOC og Ortona DOC. These areas got ther DOC-Classificatoin in 2011. Villamanga covers red wine made from Montepulciano, and Ortona in addition to the red, include white made from Trebbiano. They do not distinguish themselves very much from similar areas in Abruzzo.
Trebbiano is a grape grown many places in Italy. I am sure they grow Montepulciano other places as well. But Montepulciano really shines in Abruzzo. So in my opinion, the wine of today should be a Montepulciano from Abruzzo.
After this stage, there is a rest day.
Italian Wines 2016
Italian Wines is published yearly by Gambero Rosso. This is a detailed guide to Italian Wines. 22 000 wines from 2 400 producers are listed in the book. If you want to fine the best wines from the various regions of Italy, this is your guide. This is a type of book I usually use when I am visiting producers, to find the producers to visit.
The book is available in a paper edition and a Kindle edition. One year, I bought the Kindle edition. But for this kind of book, I prefer the paper version. It is available from Amazon UK on paper and for Kindle. And from Amazon US in paperback and as Kindle edition.
Wines (and some other drinks) of Giro d'Italia 2017
- Stage 1: Alghero -- Olbia
- Stage 2: Olbia -- Tortolì
- Stage 3: Tortolì -- Cagliari
- Stage 4: Cefalù -- Etna
- Stage 5: Pedara -- Messina
- Stage 6: Reggio Calabria -- Terme Luigiane
- Stage 7: Castrovillari -- Alberobello (Valle d'Itria)
- Stage 8: Molfetta — Peschici
- Stage 9: Montenero di Bisaccia — Blockhaus
- Stage 10: Foligno -- Montefalco
- Stage 11: Firenze (Ponte A Ema) — Bagno de Romagna
- Stage 12: Forlì — Reggio Emilio
- Stage 13: Reggio Emilia — Tortona
- Stage 14: Castellania — Oropa (Biella)
- Stage 15: Valdengo — Bergamo
- Stage 16: Rovetta — Bormio
- Stage 17: Tirano — Canazei (Val di Fassa)
- Stage 18: Moena (Val di Fassa) — Oristei/St. Ulrich (Val Gardena)
Tour de France