Wines (and some other drinks) of Giro d’Italia 2016 – Stage 16: Bressanone/Brixen — Andalo

Giro_2016_00-16Here we go again. The first stage after the rest day is not a warm up stage. It is a short, at least for professional riders — not for me, stage: 132 km. Again there are mountains. One of the main questions for the rest of the Giro is if Steven Kruusvijk will be able to maintain his lead for the remaining week, currently 2.12.


Let us start our day as the Italians: With a good coffe.Italy is the country that gave us espresso, cappucino, etc. Now Starbucks wants to establish themselves in Italy. Every coffelover knows that Starbuck in nothing compared to good Italian coffe at a local coffe bar. But Starbucks can, as so many multinationals, channel their profit out of their country. A favourable tax agreement with the Netherlands means that Starbucks pays alomost no taxes, making their costs lower than the local coffe bars. If you are in Italy, drink your coffe at an Italian coffe bar. Stay away from Starbucks! And then to some wins.

The stage go down the Adige valley, from the start twon of Bressanone to Bolzano. There the riders will take a detour up in the mountains to the west, return to Trentino, before going up in the mountains again. As I said Sunday, we will today “visit” some of the designated areas in Alto Adige.

We start in Valle d’Iscaro (Eisacktaler), which is a long and narrow area along the Adige river. It goes from the start town Bressanone to Bolzano. For the first 40 km, the riders will be in this area. It is mainly downhill. The stage is falling 300 meters from Bressanone to Bolzano.

There are seven varietal, white wines from this area. It is in particurlar Risling that gives good results here. It is a clear, fresh and rather intense wine. It is more similar to Austrian than to Italian wines.

We are close to the Brenner pass, in the border area with Austria and Switzerland. Italy is a young country. The republic of Italy, as we know it today, is young: 155 years. But Alto Adige has not been part of Italy for so long. It was part of the Austrian-Hungarian empire, it was annexed by France under Napoleon, it was for some time part of Bavaria, returned to Austria, and became part of Italy after World War I. Moussolini had a policy of italification. In 1943 it was annexed by Germany. After World War II, it went back to Italy. In 1947 German became official language besides Italian. There has been disagreements between Italy and Austria on this border area until rather recent time. In 1971 they agreed on a treaty between Italy and Austria, which should ensure a large extent of self government in this area, and that Austria should no longer interfere in internal affairs. Efter Austria became member of EU in 1995, the situation has improved.

A bit south of Bressanone, we come to Valle Iscaro Klausner Leitacher. Klausner Leitacher is a grape. It is not easy to find information on this grape and wines made from this grape. In a book in Norwegian I have been using a lot to find information on Italian wine, “Italiensk vin =>Italian Wine”, it is mentioned in a subordinate sentence in the introduction to the wines of Valle d’Iscaro, where we can read: “Apart from the almost non existant red Klausner Leitacher ….”. At least we can conclude that it is a red wine, and that Klausner Leitacher is a red/balck/blue grape. Neither the wine nor the grape is mentioned in Jancis Robinsons “Oxford Companion to Wine”, neither as a section on its own, nor in the article on wines from Alto Adige. The grape is not mentioned neither in Jancis Robinsons “Wine Grapes” nor in Ian d’Agata “Native Wine Grapes of Italy”. So it is obviously an exotic grape, and I have never tasted the wine.

Searching on the net only took  med to Italian sites, which are of little help to me, as I do not read Italian. To my surprise, the only place I could find some information was on the Frensch site According to this site, it produces a red wine with delicate aromas of red berries and fading red flowers. It is a wine which is low in tannins, and it should be drunk young. If I should come across a bottle of this wine, I will buy it to taste it. But it will probably be difficult or impossible to find it outside the production area.

When approaching Bolzano, we are comming into the widespread region Valdadige/Etschtaler DOC. It covers areas of Trentino and Veneto, in addition to Alto Adige. It is a DOC of subordinate importance compared to the other DOCs. But in this DOC, one can produce white wine from the grape Garganega, red wine from Enantio and a fizzante from Pinot bianco. Noen of these can be produced under any of the other DOCs in the region.



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

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