Wines (and some other drinks) of Giro d’Italia 2017 – Stage 4: Cefalù — Etna

We are done with Sardinia for this year. We have transferred to another island, Sicily. This is the beginning of a different Giro d’italia. Today, there are two real climbs, with mountaintop finish. After today, there will be no spriter in the pink jersey. Today the GC-contenders can start to show their intents, and try to gain some time. It is expected that Vincenzo Nibali, who is from Sicily, will do something for his home fans.

The riders are going up on the Volcano Etna, one of the more active volcanos in the world. It is almost constant activity there. There was an eruption as late as March 16 this year, where 10 persons got injuried, among them a TV-team from BBC.

Desipite the high activity, Etna is not regarded as very dangerous. The lava from the volcano is flowing slowly, and is not a major threat to the surrounding villages. But if there should be an eruption, it can be very “interesting” to ride up there. The last time there was a Giro stage to Etna, the 9th stage in 2011, there was an eruption three days before the stage, and it was uncertain it they could ride the stage. But it was not cancelled. We must hope that the volcano will not disturb the race this year.

The volcanic activity may give many challenges, but it also gives a soil well suited for wine production. The last few years, Sicily has become one of the more interesting wine regions in Italy.

The wine districts in Sicily are like this:

We will not enter any wine districts before we start the ascent towards Etna. It is in particular the wines from Etna, that have gotten attention lately. They area forms an arc around the mountain, situaded 400 to 1050 meters above sea level. The altitude cools down the climate, making it less hot than the southern location could indicate.

The volcanic soil is rich in minerals, and gives the wine minerality. The white wines are mainly made from the local grape
Carricante. The white wines are fresh. The reds and rosés are made mainly from the local grapes Nerollo Mascalese and Nerello Cappucio. Se this Regional profil: Etna, Sicily from Decanter.

Planeta is a large producer on Sicily, producing good quality wine in all wine districts on Sicily, including Etna.

Another good produser at Etna is Benanti.

The well known Piedmont producer Gaja has recently started wine production at Etna. Decanter has chosen six Top volcanic wines from Etna, Santorini and Tenerife.

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.

Native Wine Grapes of Italy

0520272269If you are or want to become an Italian wine nerd, you can add this book to your library. Italy has many native grapes, many more than the 375 that are discussed in this book. There are many unclassified grapes that cannot be used in classified wines.

This book is available in hardcover and Kindle edition, and to my surprise: Last time I checked, the Kindle verison was mor expensive than the hardcover version. For a book like this, I prefer a paper version.

Buy hardcover version from Amazon UK or Amazon US.

Buy Kindle version from Amazon UK or Amazon US.


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