Wines (and some other drinks) of Giro d’Italia 2017 – Stage 14: Castellania — Oropa (Biella)

It was as expected yesterday, and another victory to Fernando Gaviria. It looks like he is starting to learn how to ride grand tours, even though he has the toughest stages ahead.

Today it is a relatively short stage, 131 km. It starts with a descent. The it is flat to arount 100 km, where it starts to go up. The final is an 11 km first category climb, with 13% as the steepest gradien.

Some teams, who do not have the strongest climbers, will wish to get a lead before the final climb. I do not think they will get it. If the GC teams will let a break away go, they will probably not give them more they they can cathc up with before the the final ascent starts. Nairo Quintana will not only have to catch up with Tom Dumoulin’s lead, he will also need a lead before the final time trial. Some has said that he will need ca two minutes, to win the Giro.

I will expect that Moviestar will set high speed, to make sure that other teams will not get an advantage, and to soften the competitors before the final climb. The team will attack when the ascent starts, and Nairo Quintana and the domestics he may have left, will attack when the climb really starts.

We start a little south of yesterday’s final. But we are in the same wine district, and we will not repeat what we covered yesterday. The stage goes north, through the eastern part of Piedmont. We are passing east of the more well known wine districts in Piedmont. We have to come back to these districts another year.

We come to, or at least close to some of the northern districts in Piedmont. There are nine small wine district. The two more well know are Gattinara and Ghemme. They mainly produce wines from Nebbiolo, locally called Spanna. But they also use other grapes, such as Vespolina and Uva rara. In the middle of the 19th century, the wines from these district had almost as good reputation as the Barolo. But then they went into a long crisis. After they got DOCG-status in 1990, the quality has improved.

The wines are not up to as high standard as good Barolo and Barbaresco. But when buying wines from these lesser known districts, you will not pay as much for the label as we often have to do when buying the more famous cousins.

Of the other seven classified districts, these five are the more interesting:
Boca DOC, Bramaterra DOC, Fara DOC, Lessona DOC and Sizzano DOC. The two oter districts, Colline Novaresi DOC and Coste della Seisa DOC overlap with the seven other, and cover an even wider area. These are not as interesting as the other seven.

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.

Wines (and some other drinks) of Giro d'Italia 2017

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