Today it is flat, almost as flat as a stage can be. In one of the preview videos from one of the cycling magazines, they said that this stage will be a challenge for the commentators. They will have to find something to say, during a stage where very little will happen.
The stage is short, “olny” 167 km (which is about the longest distance I have been cycling in one day). The speed may be high, is someone is willing to set speed. I do not know the Po plain very well. But it is protected by the Alps to the north and the Apeninnes in the south. I do not think wind will be very much of a challenge. But with a bunch of tired riders, some may loose constentration and something may happen. It will probably end with a bunch sprint, and the sprint teams will have to control the stage.
We start in Emilia, and end in Piedmont.Emilia is still not a very interesting wine region. But we can bring along some Parmeggiano-Reggiano cheese, if we should like to have som pasta, risotto or salad. And we can get som ham when we come to Parma.
We can make a detour about 10 km to the south when we come to Piacenza. Here we can find the producer “La Stoppa”, run by Elena Pantaleoni. They produce a wine I think of as an oddity: An orange wine: “Ageno”.
There are basically two processes to produce wine. The colour is in the grape’s skin, tannins are in the seeds. When producing red wine, the must is fermented with skin and seeds. When producing white wine, the sin and seeds are sifted from the must. A white wine can be produced from red grapes, as the champagne blanc de noirs. When making a rosé, the skin and seeds are left in the must for some time, before they are sifted out.
An orange wine is produced from white grapes in a red wine process, with skin and seeds in the entire fermentation process. This gives an ofte tanninic white that is almost orange in colour.
The may issue of Decanter has a tasting of “nature wines”, a not very clear concept. It is a blind test of 122 wines of all types and from many countries. They selected on winner, and a list of top ten from each of the panelists. And the winner is: La Stoppa Ageno 2011.
To be honest, the La Stoppa Ageno is not my favourite. I have not tasted the 2011 vintage, my reference is 2006. I will not generalise to all orange wines, as I have tasted orange wines that are more to my taste. But it is an interesting wine a wine lover should taste, and make up his or her own mind.
Today’s stage ends in Piedmont, the leading wine region in Italy, with great wines like Barolo, Barbarsco, many Barbera and Dolcetto-wines, and many other wines. But we end in an outskirt of Piedmont, Colli Tortonesi DOC. They produce reds from Barbera. But the wine that has gotten the most attention is a white made from the local grape Timorasso.
Dagens etappe ender i Piemonte, Italias ledende vinregion, med storheter som Barolo, Barbarsco, mange Barbera og Dolcetto-viner, osv. Men vi ender i en utkant av Piemonte, et stykke fra regionens vinflaggskip. Vi er i det ikke veldig kjente vinområdet Colli Tortonesi DOC. Her produseres det en del rødvin av Barbera. Men den vinen som særlig har fått oppmerksomhet, er en hvitvin laget av den lokale druen Timorasso.
A Timarosso from Colli Tortonesi DOC should be the wine of today.