Wines (and some other drinks) of Giro d’Italia 2016 – Stage 12: Noale — Bibione

Giro_2016_00-12Some riders succeded to break away. And the leader at the beginning of the Giro, Tom Dumoulin has abandoned.

It is hard to find a more flat stage than stage 12. At the end, the riders will go two times around an 8 km circuit in Bibione. This is a stage for the sprinters.

Giro_2016_12

I said yesterday that I would leave Prosecco until today. One reason was that Prosecco is a wine to start with, rather than to finish with. And today, there is not very much interesting wine to find.

We usually think of Prosecco as a type of wine. But it is a grape. It ripens late, and has an aroma with flowers, apples and pears. It has high acidity, which makes it suitable for sparkling wines.

Some basics about sparkling wines. Sparkling wines are produced as still wines. Then it will usually undergo a second fermentation in a closed container, so that the cabondioxid does not escape and is aborbed in the wine. In Champagne, these still wines can be stored for years. The champagne houses will blend, often from different vintages, to make their cuvées.

In the traditional method, the closed container is a bottle. A mix of the still wine, sugar and selcted yeasts are added. When the fermentation is finished, the bottles are slowly turned upside down, so that all the sediments from the fermentation will sink to the cork. The top of the bottle is frozen, the cork opened and this frozen piece of sediments are taken out, a little wine is added, and it is recorked.

A cheaper way to do this, is to have the second fermentation in a tank. Prosecco is usually made with second fermentation in a tank, but there are some producers who use the traditional method.

An even cheaper method is carbonation, which is adding carbonated gas under pressure, the way lemonades and sodas are made.

Sparkling wines are usually made to a pressure of 6 atmospheres. Prosecco is usually made to a pressure of 3 atmospheres, making it less sparkling than other sparkling wines.

We can go back to yesterday’s finish. In the slightly hilly area around Asole, is Colli Asolani Prosecco DOCG, or just Asole Prosecco DOCG.

Further north, we find the partly overlapping Colli di Coneg­li­ano and Conegliano-Valdobbiadene. Conegliano-Vodobbiadene is the leading Prosecco area. In 2009 it was elevated to  DOCG-status , and the name Prosecco was added to the official name, which is Conegliano-Valdobbiadne-Prosecco DOCG.

But we have to return to today’s stage. As said at the top, it is flat. And it is low. Low, flat areas are not where we find interesting wines.

We start in Riviera del Brenta. Here they grow “international” grapes, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio. In areas like this, it is a challenge to get the yield down, to get decent wines.

We continue to Piave, and the same can be said about Piave. There are 12 different wines produced as Piave DOC. Many of them are single varieal wines, which means that at least 95% must be the grape indicated. Merlot is the most used grape.

The stage ends in Lison Parmagiore. It is the same type as the two previous. Some good producers are San Osvaldo, Mazzolade and Tenuta S. Anna.

When I am in a wine producing district, I try always to drink local wines. But the wines we find along today’s stage, are not the kind of wines I will be searching for outside this region.

Tom Stevenson: Christie's World Encyclopedia of Champagne & sparkling wine

1402772246This book is the international refernce when it comes to sparkling wines. The title says Champagne & sparkling wine, and it should come as no surprise that champage get the broadest coverage. Og the book'a 500 pages, 150 are dedicated to champagne, 50 to a general introduction to sparkling wine, and 300 pages to sparkling wines from other regions than Champagne. More than 1600 wines are rated.

Buy it from Amazon UK or Amazon US.

 

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

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