Wines (and some other drinks) of Giro d’Italia 2017. Stage 17: Tirano — Canazei (Val di Fassa)

Shit happens. Should the peloton have waited? It is hard to say. But they waited for Nairo Quintana when he crashed at stage 15. They will probably do that the next time he is in trouble. I have waited for Vincenzo Nibali to shine. Finally, he gave the Italians something to celebrate.

Today it is another long stage, 219 km, again for the climbers. But it is not as hard as yesterday’s stage. The last 90 km is mainly uphill, and it should invite more atacks.

We start in Tirano. This is the eastern end of Valtellina, which we mentioned yesterday. We do not repeat that. After a short trip to the south, the stage turns east and goes into the mountains. We hare heading out of Lombardy, and enter Trentino — Alto Adige.

Trentino — Alto Adige is a province bordering Austria. Trentino — Alto Adige is historically, lingustically and administratively two regions in one. From a wine perspective, there are major differences between the northern part Bolzano and the southern Trento. For us, that’s fine. Today we are in Trento. Tomorrow, we will make a trip to Bolzano or Alto Adige.

We start in Trento DOC. Geographically it is a realtively large area, and it overlaps with other classified areas. Trento is one of the better areas in Italy for production of sparkling wine with metodo classico, ‘s the method that is used for production of champagne, with the second fermentation in the bottle. 40% of Italy’s sparkling wines made with this method, are produced here. So the first wine for this stage must be a sparkling wine from Trento.

Italy is, also when it comes to sparkling wines, not easy to come to grips with. Sparkling wines can be produced within ca 100 different DOC-classifications. It was not before Franciacorta, which we will come back to for the final stage on Sunday, got its DOCG-status in 1995, that Italy got a separate classificaion on this level for sparkling wine. If I have got it right, the sparkling wine from here is produced within the Trento DOC classificaion. But the association for producers of sparkling wines have registered TrentoDoc as a trademark. Sparkling wines from this region is sold with this trademark. The wine is marketed as “sparkling wine from the mountains”.

They can use the grapes Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Nero og Pinot Meunier, the three grapes used for champagne, and Pinot Bianco. Chardonnay is the most commonly used grape.

The house Ferrari** — has been crucial in the develoment of this wine. The founder, Giulio Ferrari, had learned the technique in Champagne. If he is realted to the car manufacturer, or the sprinter Roberto Ferrari, who is cycling in the Giro.

From here we come into Trentino DOC. This is an umbrella-classification, including the entire Trentino, and several classified sub-areas.

In Trentino, there are three main types of wine:

  1. Trentino followed by one of the four types: Bianco, Rosato (Kretzer), Rosso or Vino Santo.
  2. Trentino followed by a varietal, where at least 85 % must be the grape or grapes mentioned. It can be one of 18 varietals.
  3. Trentino followed by the name of a sub-area.

More than 70% of the wines are Trentino + varietal. Chardonnay is again the mostly used grape. But the advice is to give more emphasis to the producer than the varietal. Good producers are Cantina la Vis, Cavit*, Instituto Agradio de San Michele alla’Adige, Pojer & Sandri, Cesoni, Pravis, Maso Furli, Longarvia, de Tarczal, Gaienhof and Letari.

As is too often the situation, I do not have maps with sufficient details to be sure which wine districts the stage is passing through.

The first classified (sub)-area we come to, seems to be Teroldego Rotaliano. The wines can be anytghing for light, to full bodied. The leading producer seems to be Foradori*

A bit north of Trento, we find the classified areas Lago di Caldaro DOC. Here they make a red wine from the grape Schiva.

There are two small areas north of Trentino. The first is Sorni, where they make a Sorni Bianco and Sorni Rosso. The cooerative La Vis is dominating the production.

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.


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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