Wines (and some other drinks) of Giro d’Italia 2016 – Stage 4: Catanzaro — Praia a Mare

Finally, we are in Italy. Stage 4 is a 200 km and wavy. The first 120 km is described as uncomplicated, with some climbs near the end.

I was no surprise that Marcel Kittil will start in pink when the giro arrives in Italy. My guess is that he sill keep the pink jersey for the next two days. But stage 6 is not for the sprinters.

I start with an overview, showing where in Italy we are.


And then a more detailed map of the stage.


Now we can cork the beer for a while, and start searching for wine. The start is in Calabria, we pass through a part of Basilicata, before ending in Campania. Below is a map of the classified wine regions in Calabria.


Calabria is to most rural and least industrialised part of Italy. Many will say it is the least developed. The average income here is less than half of the average income in Italy. No big cities and little industry means clean water. The landscape is hilly, with nice beacehs. It is a popular area for tourists, particulartly for toursists from other parts of Italy.

Calabria is probably the region where they first started to cultivate wine in Italy. It was the Greeks who introduced grapes and winemaking to the region, around 800 BC. It was long believed that the grape Gaglioppo, used in almost 90% of the red wines from the areas was a greek grape. But science crushes myths. DNA testing has proven that it is Italian, related to Sangiovese and ten other Italian grapes.  The region has many native grapes, around 300 varieties are listed as native to Calabria. Despite the regions wine history, it is a region that has been lagging behind. I quote from Gambero Rosso Italian Wines 2016:

“So Calabria, despite its fascinating wine history, produces such low amounts that it brings up the rear among the Italian regions. Although recently much has  been done, including in terms of qaulity, and despite having all the right land and climate credentials, the region continues to drag its heels.”

For years, it has been said that this is a promising region, but things have not been moving fast.

Calabria is the fore foot og the Iatalian leg. The sole is to the Jonian Sea, and the instep is to the Tyrreian Sea. Today’s stage starts not too far from the Jonian Sea, and crosses over to and stays by the Tyrrenian Sea. One of the best known wine districts in Calabria is Cirò, at the Jonian side.

We will approach the Tyrrenian Sea in the wine distric Lamezia. The DOC was etablished in 1978. It was for a long time mainly known for rather uniteresting wines from the plains along the Tyrrenian Sea. But in more recent years, some producers have been making wine from grapes grown in the more hilly areas a bit away from the sea. The result is better wines. The white wines are mainly made from the grape Greco. The reds and the rosés are mainly made from the Siclian grape Merello, and from Gaglioppo and Greco Nero.

As there are not so many producers mentioned as quality producers in Calabria, we can mention those that are included Gambero Rosso Italian Wines 2016.

Poderi Marini is located in San Demetrio Corona, alomost halfway from the Jonian Sea to the Tyrrenian Sea. The wine maps I have of Itaily do not have many details, meaning that it is difficult to map stage maps and wine maps. I think San Demetrio Corona is a bit south of today’s stage, and also outside the calssified districts in Calabria.

Statti in Lamenzia Terme seems to be inside the Lamezia district.

G.B. Odoardi is located in Nocera Terniese. They are known for their red Vigna Mortilla. We are now in the district Scavigna DOC, close to the border to Savuto DOC. In Scavina, the vineyards are located from 230 to 800 meters above sea level. From here, we get some of the most elegant red wines from the Calabria region, made from among other grapes, Gaglioppo.

In Savuto DOC, the vineyards a bit up from the sea level give the best wine. From here, we have to fo inland, along the Savuto river, to find interesting wines. But the stage continues along the coast.

The stage is crossing the short coastal line of Bassilicata along the Tyrrenian Sea. But we do not find interesting wines here, and do not stop. We are continuing into Campania. campania is one of the more interesting regions in Southern Italy. But Frankly, we will be in the least interesting part of Campania from a Wine lovers perspective. So we leave Campania for tomorrow.

Wines (and some other drinks) of Giro d'Italia 2016

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