Giro d’Italia has begun to take its tolls, even before we (or rather the riders) have hit the real mountains. Marcel Kittel has abandoned. And three riders missed the time cut: Elia Viviani (Sky), Iuri Filosi (Nippo-Vini Fantini), and Boy Van Poppel (Trek-Segafredo). They finished together 55:26 down on stage winner Gianluca Brambilla.
Stage 9 is a 40,5 km time trial in Chianti Classico. Some years ago, Jens Voigt called these indiviual time trials a “semi rest day”. The general classification contenders may win or loose valuable time on these time trials, so for them it is a critical stage. And there are some time trial specialists who will try to win the stage. But for the rest of the riders, the goal is to get within the time limit, without using too much energy. Their job is to support ther captain, but in an individual time trial, there is no to support. But teams that want to win the best team classification may send at least three riders to get as good result as possible. So some riders may be a bit disapponted when having to go harder on the time trial than they would have liked to, as Jens Voigt had to do when he for that reason missed his semi-rest.
Stage 8 is 186 km, mainly up the Tiber River valley. The climb up to Alpe di Poti near the end, 6,4 km on dirt roads will drop many riders, and the descent to the finish i too short to regain what is lost.
We start in Foligno, where we ended yesterday. Which also means that we are starting and are spending the first part of the stage in Umbria.
We are passing through Assisi, the town how the monk St. Francis of Assisi. I am not a religious person. But we do not have to be religious to appreciate Francis of Assisi’s prayer “Make Me a Channel of Your Peace”, sung by Sinnead O’Connor.
Back to wine. In Assisi DOC, the vineyards are located from 180 to 550 meters above sea level. The producer Sportoletti is known for good quality. Among their wines are a white Assisi Grechetto and a red Assisi Rosso made from Sangiovese and Merlot.
We leave Umbria through Colli Altotiberini DOC. This is Umbria northernmost wine area. The wines are mainly white made from Trebbiano Toscano, and a red made from Sangiovese and some Merlot. Fattoria Colle del Sole is a producer with a good reputation.
The stage ends in Tuscany, one of the best and well known wine regions in Italy. But we enter Tuscany in one of the parts where tere are no classified wines. Then we make a little turn in the ouskirts of Chianti, before arriving in Arezzo. But as tomorrow’s stage is a time trial in Chinati Classico, we leave Chianti until tomorrow.
At stage 6, I mentioned the Montepulciano confusion. Some 60 km south of today’s arrival city, Abruzzo, is the town Montepulciano. Get a glass or a bottle of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, and compare it to a Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.
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 2016
Stage 7 is long, 211 km, and wavy. If the sprinters hang on to the finish, it may be another day for them. Those who are competing for pink, will not care too much about a stage win.
We stay up in the Apennines. We start in Abruzzo, cross a part of Lazio and end in Umbria. For Abruzzo, there is nothing to add to what we covered yesterday. The part of Lazio that we will be crossing, is not where we find the best wines from Lazio. We then enter Umbria.
When Marcel Kittel did not have what it takes to win, another German sprinter stepped in. But today’s stage is not a stage for the sprinters. Stage 6 takes us into the Apennines, and is the first stage this year with a top finsih. It is not the hardest climb, but a climb that will leave the sprinters behind.
We start in Campania. But we drank the best wines of Campania yesterday, or at least we talked about them.
Stage 3is another flat, 190 km stage. We start were yesterday’s stage ended, and end where it started. But the riders will follow a stage to the east of the cities.
This will be another day with Dutch beer. Frankly, I think it will be hard to find better beers in the Netherlands than we had yesterday. We may try to find som local beers. But they are hard to find if you are not there. And I am sitting in Oslo when writing this, and have not been in the Netherlands since last summer.
It was a popular win for Tom Demoulin yesterday. I Dutch rider in pink should give a good pink week end in the Netherlands. He will probably ride in pink until the Giro leaves for Italy.
Stage 2 is a flat 190 km stage, starting in Arnhem, some 35 km south of Apeldoorn. It goes north, south-west, south-east and then north to the finish town Nijmegen, a little south of Arnhem. It is flat, and will probably be won by one of the sprinters, but with little or no time differences. There are bonus seconds, but the best sprinters are more than 10 seconds behind, and will not gain enough time to take the pink jersey.
It will be another day with Dutch beer. Yesterday it those industry beers that are dominating the Dutch market too much. Today, we go for something more interesting. It is time for some Dutch Trappist beer.
In 2010 I started to search for wines along the Tour de France route. It was virtual searches. I searched for wines from the areas, I did not travel in all these areas. (But I would like to do). In 2011 I followed up with Giro d’Italia. Although I did choose French and Italien titles (“Les vins du Tour de France” and “I vini del Giro d’Italia”), they were written in Norwegian. The idea was simply to make Tour the France and Giro d’Italia my plan for learning more about Frenh and Italian wine. But even though France and Italy are the two countries in the world with the highest production of wine, there are still areas where wine is not produced. When the riders are in these areas, we have to search for interesting beer or something else.
This year I have decided to do versions in English, in addition to the Norwegian versions. I have learned a lot about French and Italian wines by writing these blog series. But still it is easier for me to research the French than the Italian wines. We have an appartement i France, and spend many weeks there — of course drinking french wine while we are there. I read French, but not Italian, meaning that it is easier for me to find information on French wines. I am not pretending to be an expert. It is more like inviting you to join my journey of learning.