Thursday, May 24, 2018

Wine and Food of the Giro 2018: Stage 18: Abbietagrasso to Prato Nevoso

Where are we?
Abbietegrasso: To Milan we go or at least 14 miles away to a comune and town. The Giro tells me that: A centre of very old origins, namely Celtic and then Roman, Abbiategrasso has been under the Visconti’s domination for a long while. The town is connected to Milan by the Naviglio Grande, one of the major waterways for centuries.

Giro regional specialties: Gorgonzola cheese, Casseola (braised pork and cabbage) with polenta, Brasato (wine-braised meat), traditional cold cuts from Parco del Ticino, rice specialties.

Prato Nevoso:  A ski resort in Piedmont.The Giro tells me that:
Located in a privileged position, thanks to the mild slopes facing south, Prato Nevoso is a skiing resort framed by the magnificent Maritime Alps in the province of Cuneo. At an altitude of 1,500 m, included in the municipality of Frabosa Sottana (CN), it is easily accessible because of its optimal location: it can be reached from the main cities in Piedmont and Liguria in just over one-hour drive.

Giro regional specialties:  Chestnuts, chestnut ravioli, Mondolé cheese, honey.

The stage:  
Up they go again, starting three days of uphill stages. Tomorrow and Saturday are brutal, so it may be a day for the break. Maybe. The break of the day:

There are no gc challengers in the break, so they will give them some rope. The focus is likely to be on the gc race behind. Eurosport posits that both Froome and Dumoulin may challenge a bit later in the day. Eighty five kilometers to go and the gap was 13:22.


Fifty kilometers to go and the gap was about fourteen minutes. That gap was continuing to go out as they approached the final climb.

Under twenty kilometers to go and the break group was about ten kilometers ahead on the road. It was time for them to start attacking each other. Indeed, soon enough the group would fall apart. Looking good at the front of that group Cattaneo, Schachmann and Pfingsten. Yo-yoing from that group, Plaza.
Two kilometers to go and it would be Cattaneo and Schachmann alone at the front.
Way behind, Wout Poels and Ben O'Connor jump. Time for some action there.
Meanwhile up front, Plaza reappears. Great riding from him on the day.
Schachmann!  Now time to turn back to the gc group. Attacking from that group "Superman" Lopez. Many other attacks would follow.
Dumoulin! Followed by Pozzovivo and Yates. Passing them, Froome. He would be followed by Dumoulin and Pozzovivo. Yates having a bad moment, his first one of the race. He would lose twenty seven seconds on the day. 


18th stage 2018

1. Maximilian Schachmann (ger)
2. Ruben Plaza (spa) + 0.10
3. Mattia Cattaneo (ita) + 0.16
4. Christoph Pfingsten (ger) + 1.10
5. Marco Marcato (ita) + 1.26
6. Michael Mørkøv(den) + 1.36
7. Vyaecheslav Kuznetsov (Rus + 1.52)
8. Jos van Emden (nld) + 3.22
9. Alex Turin (ita) + 3.29
10. Davide Ballerini (ita) + 5.09

GC after the 18th stage
1. Simon Yates (gbr)
2. Tom Dumoulin (nld) + 0.28
3. Domenico Pozzovivo (ita) + 2.43
4. Chris Froome (gbr) + 3.22
5. Thibaut Pinot (fra) + 4.24
6. Miguel Ángel López (col) + 4.54
7. Rohan Dennis (aus) + 5.09
8. Pello Bilbao (spa) + 5.54
9. Richard Carapaz (ecu) + 5.59
10. Patrick Konrad (aut) + 7.03

Wine: Poderi Colla Barbera d' alba 2015
From the producer: Part of the vineyard, located in Barbaresco, was planted in about 1930: this is one reason for the wine's intensity and concentration, velvety and with a fresh and pleasant acidity. 
1700-1800: THE BEGINNINGS. Documents dating from 1703 mark the beginnings of the Colla family's history in wine making: Carlo Colla, together with his son Stefano, sold "barrels of Rosatello" and "casks of vino negro" produced on his land in Santo Stefano Belbo. In 1778 his grandson Pietro bought a farmstead with vineyards in San Giorgio (formerly Arzignano) di Castiglione Tinella and sold Moscatello.
1800-1900: THE MOSCATO AND VERMOUTH IDEA. In the 1700s, Carpano created vermouth, and Pietro Colla and his eldest son Giuseppe learned the art of producing this "aromatic muscatel." Thanks to his wisdom and skill, Giuseppe became Carlo Gancia's trusted associate, whilst the Colla family continued to produce their own wines in Castiglione Tinella, as local wine growing and production increased.
1900-1994: SPARKLING WINES AND CRUS. Two members of the Colla family stand out from the rest: Pietro (Giuseppe Colla's grandson) and Beppe (Pietro's eldest son.) These two wrote the history of wine making in Piedmont. Having learned the difficult art of Méthode Champenoise from Giuseppe Gallese, who had imported it from Champagne several decades earlier, Pietro Colla, born in 1894, propagated the art and quality of Spumante Metodo Classico through his work for Gancia and his purchase of prime vineyards in Moncucco di Santo Stefano Belbo. Respected and admired, his opinion was sought by major firms of his day, he was made a member of the newly-formed Asti Consortium (in 1932) and he sold his wines both in Italy and abroad.

Food: Brasato From Epicurious:
Yield Makes 4 servings
Active Time 50 min
Total Time 3 3/4 hr


    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 (3- to 3 1/2-pound) boneless beef chuck roast
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1/4 pound sliced pancetta, finely chopped
    • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
    • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
    • 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
    • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
    • 4 (4- to 6-inch) sprigs fresh thyme
    • 2 (6- to 8-inch) sprigs fresh rosemary
    • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
    • 2 cups Barolo or other full-bodied red wine such as Ripasso Valpolicella, Gigondas, or Côtes du Rhône
    • 2 cups water
  1. Special Equipment
    • a 4- to 5-qt heavy ovenproof pot with lid


    1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 325°F.
    2. Heat oil in pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking.
    3. Meanwhile, pat meat dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
    4. Brown meat in hot oil on all sides, about 10 minutes total. (If bottom of pot begins to scorch, lower heat to moderate.) Transfer to a plate using a fork and tongs.
    5. Add pancetta to oil in pot and sauté over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until browned and fat is rendered, about 3 minutes. Add onion, carrot, and celery and sauté, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, and rosemary and sauté, stirring, until garlic begins to soften and turn golden, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add wine and boil until liquid is reduced by about half, about 5 minutes. Add water and bring to a simmer, then return meat along with any juices accumulated on plate to pot. Cover pot with lid and transfer to oven. Braise until meat is very tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
    6. Transfer meat to a cutting board. Skim fat from surface of sauce and discard along with herb stems. Boil sauce until reduced by about one third, about 5 minutes, then season with salt. Cut meat across the grain into 1/2-inch-thick slices and return to sauce.
Cooks' note:
• Beef improves in flavor if made 3 days ahead. Cool completely in sauce, uncovered, then chill in sauce, covered. Reheat, covered, in a preheated 350°F oven until hot, 25 to 30 minutes, then slice meat.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Wine and Food of the Giro 2018: Stage 17: Riva del Garda to Iseo

Where are we?
Riva del Garda: The local tourist site tells me that: Riva del Garda is one of the most important holiday destinations in northern Italy. Two of the top Lake Garda resorts for the English-speaking market are Riva del Garda on the northern end of the lake and the resort of Garda in the south.
But Riva isn't just about tourism - it was an important strategic point at the juncture of the Alps and the Italian plains for many centuries.

Giro regional specialties: DOP Garda olive oil, Carne salada (traditional corned beef), lake fish recipes (soused trout or lavaret), Broccolo di Torbole, Aceto balsamico trentino (balsamic vinegar).

Iseo: Lombardy! National Geographic tells me that: Como may draw celebs, but low-key Lake Iseo offers equally stunning views—and sparkling wines that blow prosecco out of the water. Conde Nast Traveler is also a fan: Lake Como and Lake Garda might get all the glory—and the hordes of tourists. But tucked in between them sits Lake Iseo, which might just be the loveliest Italian lake of all.

Giro regional specialties:  Manzo all’olio di Rovato (a kind of pot roast with gravy, typical of the town that has been an important meat market since the times of the Venetian Republic), Baked stuffed tench with polenta, the traditional dried sardines of Lake Iseo (Slow Food Presidium). The cheeses, for example, like Brescia Robiola, Stracchino, Pressato, Salva, Silter and the PDO Gorgonzola, Grana Padano, Provolone Valpadana and Quartirolo Lombardo. And the dried shad – a small freshwater fish – honey, cold cuts and cured meats, like the salami from Monte Isola, lightly smoked, and the Ret di Capriolo (venison). The extra virgin olive oil from Sebino and then the renowned grappas, distilled from the pressed marc of the grapes used to make Franciacorta wines, and the sweets, made in the traditional manner by the many pastry shops.

The stage:

The start today was strange with a neutralization of some of the early action. Plus some splits in the main peloton and numerous struggles to create a break. Seventy kilometers done and still no break. 
Podium Cafe provided some poetry to catch me up on the day:
Break was forning left and right.
Everyone put up a fight.
Viviani said: " For get it"
All this chaos has no merit!

Perhaps, finally, the break of the day as the rain started on the route.


Actually, maybe not. Apparently the teams behind were not pleased by that group, particularly with Wout Poels in the group. His breakmates were also not pleased that he was there, knowing that it might foil their plans.

Fifty kilometers to go and that group had around forty four seconds. Forty five kilometers and it was out to 1:31. Maybe it would really stick this time?

Twenty kilometers to go and that gap was down to twenty seconds. 
As they get closer, more rain. Narrow and wet roads could cause some major stress. Eleven kilometers to go and the break was over. Time to set up for the sprint.
Nine kilometers to go and an attack by Brambilla, followed immediately by Gesink and Benedetti. Joining them, Stybar and Henao. They would be caught as we saw scenes of pouring rain at the finish. Five kilometers to go and Lammertink took a flyer. Three kilometers to go and he was caught.
In the rain, Viviani with another stage win.

General classification after stage 17
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott69:59:11 
2Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb0:00:56 
3Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:03:11 
4Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky0:03:50 
5Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:04:19 
6Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team0:05:04 
7Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team0:05:37 
8Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team0:06:02 
9Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team0:06:07 
10George Bennett (NZl) LottoNL-Jumbo0:07:01 


The wine: Cuvée 60 2011 Brut Nature Casa Caterina.
This is another one of those, I had another wine planned stages. But, since the Giro is calling it the Franciacorta stage, some bubbles.
From an importer: Winemaker Aurelio del Bono’s Casa Caterina is producing some of the best sparkling wine to come out of Italy today. Located in the DOCG of Franciacorta in Lombardia, Aurelio rejects the DOCG stipulations to create his own beautiful, expressive, natural wine that mirrors the purity of the land. The vines are organically grown, he adds no sulfur to the wine, uses only native yeast, and is known for keeping the wine on the lees for extended periods of time (up to 10 years).

Food: Thanks google translate!
Manzo all’olio di Rovato

Beef with Oil

Manzo all'Olio is an ancient recipe from Brescia that owes its origins to Rovato . The first documents mentioning it date back to the second half of the 16th century, as can be read in the writings of Donna Veronica Porcellaga.
Anchovies are among the main ingredients of the dish. But the origin of Manzo all'Olio remains basically poor: few and accessible ingredients that make up the recipe, or meat, oil, bread, garlic, grana and of course anchovies. As with many ancient recipes, there are many versions. Here is ours

Ingredients for 6 people

1,5 kg of prime quality beef meat, better if it is the so-called priest's hat,
250 gr. of extra-virgin olive oil,
3 large carrots,
3 coasts of green celery,
1 large onion,
4 large cloves of garlic,
250 cc of dry white wine,
a dozen of desalted and filleted anchovies,
some desalted capers and a bunch of parsley,
salt as required.


Take the piece of meat and, with a knife blade wide enough and sharp, deeply engrave crosswise on all sides to form "pockets" in which to introduce the anchovies desalted and filleted with a piece of garlic.
Once the operation is done, flour the meat with the white flour. Use a saucepan that contains the piece of meat as precisely as possible, and bring 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to the oven and brown the floured meat on all sides until you get a crust.
Momentarily remove the saucepan from the heat adding the chopped onion, the carrots and the coarsely chopped celery and coarsely sliced ​​and also the 2 or 3 anchovy fillets and the advanced garlic.
Now add all the oil and dry white wine. At this point add a lot of water to almost completely cover the meat, put the saucepan on the fire bringing to a boil and then adjust the flame to keep a light boil, continuing cooking for about two hours / two and a half hours.
When cooked remove the meat from the rest of the ingredients and place it on a plate to cool, while the bottom of cooking should be passed through a wide-mesh sieve combining the capers and parsley.
If the sauce obtained is too liquid, you can reduce it to low heat.
When the meat has cooled the tagliatela or slices about 1 cm thick that you will serve with ilsugo on a bed of polenta

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

ITT Time: Wine and Food of the Giro 2018: Stage 16: Trento to Rovereto

Where are we?
Trento: The local tourist site tells me that: Trento is a city rooted in art and history, where the Italian and Mitteleuropean cultures meet. Unique amongst the Alpine cities, the City of the Council (1545 - 1563) still keeps its precious monuments as tokens of its rich artistic and historic heritage.
Built in the elegant Renaissance style, they have been enhanced by recent refurbishing works. Special mention goes to the Castello del Buonconsiglio (for several centuries residence of the Prince Bishops of Trento), the Duomo, its splendid piazza and fountain dedicated to Neptune, the frescoed houses and Council Churches as well as the museums and exhibitions which make Trento a true landmark of Alpine arts, culture and traditions. The "imperial" tour starts at Castello del Buonconsiglio and takes visitors across the historical city-centre up to the piazza Duomo, along Via San Marco, via Manci and via Belenzani, running past some of the most beautiful palaces of the city and their surrounding network of roads, alleyways and squares - where other historical buildings can be discovered, such as Via Suffragio's characteristic arcades and the city's ancient towers and battlements. Trento offers visitors its richly historical and artistic heritage all year around. Visitors can admire its beauties while strolling around the city-centre's alleys, enjoying shopping or visiting the city's museums (Museo del Castello del Buonconsiglio, the MUSE Museo delle Scienze and the Museo Caproni themed around aviation).
Trento  is home to one of the most prestigious Universities in Italy. It is also a playing host to several all-important cultural events planned throughout the year, such as the Economics Festival, which draws experts and researchers from all over the world.
In December, don't miss the Christmas Market, which is one of the best in Italy!

Giro regional specialties:
Trentino’s cuisine is a melting pot of ingredients and methods, since it is at the junction between two climates and several culinary traditions. A rich local food & wine tradition which pays particular attention to quality and ensures both the purity and authenticity of the raw ingredients.
Autenthic products like trout and char from mountain streams, Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Garda Trentino, organic vegetables, berries, Trentino’s cheese, milk product excellences and cured meat.

Rovereto: tells me that:  Including some 35,000 inhabitants, Rovereto is the second largest city in Trentino, right after the city of Trento.
Still today you can see how strong the Venetians influenced the inner city of Rovereto, with its ancient buildings and memorials.
Rovereto is a popular town especially with those interested in modern arts, as a number of modern artists were born right here in this city. One of them was the Italian futurist painter Fortunato Depero. Rovereto, furthermore, features the main seat of the so-called MART, the museum of modern and contemporary art. Within shortest time the museum has become one of the main European venues for art and culture.

To remember the atrocities of war - this is the main aim of the military memorial “Ossario Castel Dante”, where you will find the mortal remains of more than 20,000 victims of World War 1, such as Fabio Filzi or Damiano Chiesa. Another evidence of the past is the Peace Bell on the hill of Miravalle, ringing out every night to remember those lost in times of war. A historical war museum is found at the castle of Rovereto.

Giro regional specialties: 
Casonzei (stuffed pasta), cheese from local alpine huts, honey, freshwater fish (charr and trout).

The stage:


Time to find out how much time Dumoulin can take back on Yates and if it will be enough to make this last week of the race even more exciting. But first, a long line of time trialists, some motivated, some resting.

Tony Martin! Very exciting to see him in the hot seat with a time of 40:14. As his fantasy team owner, I'm delighted.

Rain early and then it looked to be drying out, but as it got closer to the start times of the gc riders, it grew heavier. Maybe good news for Tony Martin in the hot seat? 
One of the favorites for the day:

Indeed, Dennis was in great shape at the first checkpoint--15 seconds up on Tony Martin. Speaking of wow, Aru, who has looked like he was done several times in this race, came in at a provisional third. A bit moto-aided, but still.
And then we had everyone on course. How much time could Dumoulin take? Would Tony Martin win the stage? How would Foome do? We would know very soon.
Dennis at at exactly 40, 14 seconds ahead of Martin.
First split and Yates was down 21 seconds to Dumoulin. It was looking good for him to stay in pink today. Nice ride by Froome, with a negative split to come in provisionally fourth. Meanwhile both Pinot and Pozzovivo were struggling.

It can be hard to tell mid-stage, but Dumoulin looked tired. Poor Pinot meanwhile finished 3:19 down to Dennis. Yikes. Dumoulin in at thrid, with 40:22. 
Yates in at 41:37. He'll stay in pink tonight. It may be a race for the sother steps on the podium at this point.

The wine: Weingut Carlotto Lagrein
I couldn't resist this one.
From the importer:
Feruccio Carlotto and his daughter Michela farm a tiny estate of several hectares in the Alto-Adige town of Ora, south of Bolzano. The special of this village is Lagrein, a red grape that is native to the region, and these folks have it down. They chose to produce only one Lagrein Riserva that is aged in large oak casks. The vines are planted in a complex mélange of soil types dominated by igneous porphyry rock and complemented by limestone subsoil and a wide range of alluvial sediments and stones deposited here over millennia. You have never tasted Lagrein with this much finesse. It is a powerhouse of a wine with a very light touch—inky black, loaded with fruit, with a distinctive personality, and silky tannins. They also make a small amount of Pinot Nero that is made in a very fine, elegant style, with a feathery touch. It is from one of the best terroirs in the Alto Adige for Pinot Nero, the cru of Mazzon.

The food:  Casonzie, from the local website

Casonzei of rye stuffed with goat ricotta-cheese from Gresta-Valley sautéed with flowered-butter

Ingredients for 8 people
For the “pasta”:
• 600 gr. “00” flour
• 400 gr. Rye flour
• 10 organic eggs
• extra virgin olive oil
• salt

For the stuffing:
• 500 gr. goat ricotta-cheese
• 100 gr. grated Trentingrana (parmesan cheese)
• fresh aromatic herbs (chive, basil, dill)
• salt and pepper
• bread crumbs
• for seasoning: 50 gr. butter from Trentino
• mixed dry flowers from Monte Baldo
  1. For the “pasta” mix all the ingredients together and work everything until you get a smooth dough and let it rest in the fridge covered with food foil for at least an hour.
  2. For the stuffing, mix the ricotta-cheese with the Trentingrana-cheese and the herbs. Add salt and pepper and a little bit of breadcrumbs, if the dough is too soft.
  3. At this point, roll the dough with the thickness of 2/3 mm.
  4. Put a tablespoon of ricotta every 6 cm, brush the dough with the beaten egg to make the dough stick.
  5. Close with a second sheet of dough and cut the “Casonzei” with a rounded cup, shaping half-moons.
  6. After cooking the “Casonzei” in boiling water, drain and season with some fried butter with mixed dry flowers and sprinkle as desired with Trentingrana-cheese.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Wine and Food of the Giro 2018 Stage 15: Tolmezzo to Sappada

Where are we? 
Tolmezzo: the regional tourist site tells me that "is the historical capital of Carnia, strategically located at the mouth of the Canale di S. Pietro in the middle valley of the Tagliamento River.
The city was initially under the control of the Patriarchs of Aquileia; it then forged an alliance with Venetian dominion until it finally became an Italian city in 1866. In the XVIII century it became an industrial centre, earning fame overseas for its weaving activity.
Significant pieces of the town's ancient walls can still be found in Borgàt, the old town centre, with buildings and porticoed streets. The St. Martin's Cathedral is not to be missed nor is the Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions of Carnia, home to the vast heritage of ethnographic pieces collected by Michele Gortani. Only a few traces, however, can be found of the ancient mountain castle."

Interesting article on the origin of tiramisu, which may or not have been in Tolmezzo.

Giro regional specialties: Cjarsons (sweet or savoury filled pasta), Frico with polenta, Salame al musèt, Brovada (sour turnips), apples, Pastorut (blue cheese), fruit preserves.

Sappada:The local tourist site tells me that: Surrounded by the Dolomites, Sappada (Plodn in the local dialect) is a well-known winter and summer tourist destination. Its origin is from the early medieval period and is attributed to the Patriarch of Aquileia who is supposed to have invited  a group of families from Bavaria to live in this area, then uninhabited. An ancient German dialect is spoken in Sappada even to this day.
Apart from its landscape beauty, Sappada also boasts a particular rural architecture of wooden houses built using the ancient blockbau technique. The best-known of all the old traditions is the Plodar Vosenòcht, the carnival of Sappada, in which people from the entire countryside are involved for three Sundays, and where the typical mask of Rollate plays the leading role.

Giro regional specialties: Knödel, Gepicta Kropfen (ravioli with a lesser-calamint filling), wild game dishes (served with radicchio, polenta or mushrooms), Mogn Kropfn (Carnival fritters). 

The stage:


 Ah the Dolomites. Every year when the Giro traverses the Dolomites, I say that I will visit. Maybe this year?
The break of the day is large.

Happy birthday Chris Froome. He is 33 today. After his performance yesterday, it will be interesting to see if he has another go today.
Eighty kilometers to go and the gap was around 2:09. 


Education First at the front of the peloton was clearly determined to chase down the the break. They were working very hard, but not really making progress. With seventy kilometers to go, the gap was around 1:30 and the break was splintering. Sixty nine kilometers to go and Woods attacked, which was the reason for all of the work from the team. 


Excitement for me as Bernie Esisel is back in the commentary box. He questions the EF tactics on the day. Dear Eurosport, if he does not heal enough to ride the Tour, perhaps you could bring him on for more commentary?
Eventually, Woods and his group would sit up, as it became clear they were not going to get across the gap.

Despite the wet weather, it was still so gorgeous.

Up ahead at the front of the race Quintana, Denz and Cherel with a first chase group of Ciccone and Visconti. Those groups would come together around with under forty kilometers to go and a gap of 2:18. Dayer would yo-yo from that small group. Speaking of yo-yo-ing. Aru in trouble again in the main group. Perhaps he is ill?

Ciccone is having a great Giro. Thirty kilometers and that gap was down to thirty seconds. The pink jersey group was down to around twenty two riders.

And just after that update, trouble for Froome. Yates! Wow. Following him Lopez, with Dumoulin in a small group not far behind. Those groups would come together, distancing Froome behind. Yates again! Jumping from that group with just over seventeen kilometers to go. I'd say too early, but he looks quite fresh. One could even say "dancing on the pedals."

Putting in some major time on Froome behind.

Eight kilometers to go and Yates had about thirty seconds on that chasing group. Nice riding by Pinot in that group, but they were not working well together with only Dumoulin and Pinot working.

Yikes. Dumoulin dropped from that chase group as Carapaz pushed the pace.
Meanwhile, no one would come close to Yates. This is how one wins a Giro.
Nice work behind from Dumoulin to catch the four ahead. They would have an ugly sprint for second. 

The wine: Keber Collio 
From the importerEdi Keber, viticulturalist of Zegla in the area of Collio, a few meters from Brda, Slovenia, is one of the mavericks of this territory. The excellent quality of his wines runs parallel with the volcanic character of this farmer, dedicated to forging new ideas for the development and valorisation of his land. In the vineyard, Keber has continued the work of his parents and his uncles, with the same passion, fervor and love for the simple life in close harmony with nature. The farm covers ten hectares of vineyards, all in Zegla, that thrive on the cold north bora winds and the breeze from the Adriatic Sea, all the while benefitting from ideal southern exposure.
The year 2008 marked a momentous milestone for Keber as the azienda decided to commit to the production of a single white grape ine, the Collio, a blend of three varieties: Friulano for structure, Malvasia Istriana for its aromatic qualities, and Ribolla Gialla for acidity. The varietals express themselves to their greatest potential in this area cormonese, cultivated on “Ponka”, a soil composed of
marl and sandstone that naturally stresses the vines, lending to the production of a wine with remarkable weight, body and a distinctive minerality typical of the region. Today the wines of the Keber estate, run by Edi with the help of his son Kristian, are intense, long-lived, and synonymous with the great terroir that is Collio.

The food:  Brovada
From the regional wesbite: When the wine has been made, the pomace which remains can be used to produce grappa, or an ancient procedure can also be used which uses field turnips (Brassica rapa).

Although there are many descriptions, the one that stands out the most is the one by Giuseppe Ferdinando del Torre, a pharmacist in the Austrian Friuli who wrote the “Il Contadinel” (1856-1895), where he described a method for preserving the turnips. “Stratify them in a container with the pomace and add the given amount of water. When they are arranged in this way, they become completely acidified and are then called bruàda or sbrùada. They are then cooked and seasoned and can either be eaten like this or mixed with sauterkraut in a bean soap, and this is called "jota".

This is the brovada, which is eaten with musetto, an undisputed treasure of Friulian cuisine. It is also prepared by the Slovenians in the Karst Plateau under the name repa. It is a healthy product which is low in calories, high in fibre and calcium, and has prompted some producers to join the Association in order to protect and promote this traditional recipe.

Since 2011, brovada has been protected by the DOP mark which guarantees both the quality and the origin of the product.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Wine and Food of the Giro 2018: Stage 14: San Vito al Tagliamento to Monte Zoncolan

Where are we?
San Vito al Tagliamento: The regional tourist site tells me that it is: A charming and elegant medieval town with a richly frescoed castle , San Vito al Tagliamento still preserves the medieval moat and the three access towers.
Worthy of note are the beautiful buildings of elegant architecture and religious monuments including the Duomo, a real art gallery for the richness of paintings and frescoes, the Church of Santa Maria dei Battuti, a jewel of the Friulian Renaissance that inside splendid frescoes by Pomponio Amalteo , and the Chiesa dell'Annunciata with a cycle of frescoes from the second half of the fourteenth century.
Finally, do not miss the delightful little Italian theater "Giangiacomo Arrigoni" , which is influenced by the eighteenth century Venetian influence.

Giro regional specialties: Zuf (pumpkin soup), Pitina sausage with cornmeal stock, polenta dumplings with cheese, Musèt e brovada (cotechino with sour turnips), pork chops with Savoy cabbage.

Monte Zoncolan: is a mountain in the Carnic Alps. We've seen it before in the Giro. You can read a lot more at Inrng. It may also be time to take a second look at Will's Mountain Preview.

The stage: While the world watches the royal wedding, the riders are facing a day of climbing and more climbing. Be sure to check out the links above for a lot more info about the climb because it is a showstopper.

Sky sure is visible on the front of the peloton. Protecting Froome on wettish roads or is there a plan for the day? Or maybe they really just wanted to reach the feed zone first?
Might as we read the paper while waiting:


Fifty five kilometers to go and the gap was 6:17.
Sam Bennett with a wheelie on the way up.


Chaves looking to be in trouble again. He was off the front of the pink jersey early today. Forty kilometers to go and the gap to the break was under four minutes. 

Thirty kilometers and the gap was 3:15. Spare a thought for the grupetto behind. Note to race organizers, someday please, a grupetto cam. Twenty kilometers to go and the gap was around one minute. Still lots of very difficult climbing to come. 

Word, by the way, that they are expecting 100,000 people on top of the mountain today. Here they go.

The last rider from the break, Conti. Behind him, Anton had attacked from the group, trying to relive his glory days.  Behind, the main group was rapidly shrinking. One of the many questions of the day: could Yates but in some additional time on Dumoulin? Dumoulin apparently had a cheat sheet with showed exactly how much power he should be putting out during each kilometer of the stage. Ten or so riders only left in that group, as they were halfway up the mountain. Yates was looking very strong. Off the back, Aru with company.
Froome attack! Behind him Lopez, Yates and Pozzovivo. Not far back from them, Dumoulin and Pinot, grinding along.
Three kilometers to go and there went Yates, chasing Froome, and putting more time between himself and Dumoulin. Two kilometers to go and Froome had about 12 seconds over Yates, with the others spread out behind. One kilometer, eight seconds and Yates looked to be closing rapidly. But Froome would hold on. What a day for him. All in all though, a good day for Dumoulin, who kept close enough.

The wine:  Ronchi de Cialla Ribolla Gialla 2011
Really, I was kind of curious how this would be after hanging out in my home for longer than I had meant it to.
From the producerRoncs, in the dialect of Friuli, means vinery cultivated hills. Cialla is a small valley facing from North-East to South-West, surrounded by woods with chestnut, oak and wild cherry trees, in the d.o.c. (controlled wine) Colli Orientali del Friuli area, and it is officially recognised – with a Ministerial Decree dated 30.10.95 – as cru CIALLA only for the cultivation of native vines from Friuli (white wines: Verduzzo, Picolit and Ribolla Gialla; red wines: Refosco dal Peduncolo rosso and Schioppettino) and the production of vintage wines.
Cialla has remained intact because it is a bit distant from other settlements, as it was in ancient times when it was called #ela. #ela, in the Slavic language that was spoken there, which means “Riviera”; it was given this name because it had such an exclusive and good micro-climate that even now olives grow there. The step terraces, carved out of the hills, perfectly located in terms of the directions they face for wine cultivation, go back to the times of the Patriarchate of Aquileia and the Republic of Venice, and according to deeply rooted local folklore, they were developed by Turkish prisoners.
To confirm that Cialla wines were already appreciated back then there are documents dating back to 1496 that state that the Honourable Cathedral Chapter used to purchase some of this wine every year. In 1970 a family run agricultural company was founded here – which was the passion of Paolo and Dina Rapuzzi and now continues with their sons Pierpaolo and Ivan – aiming to valorise ancient vineries of Friuli origin in accordance with a philosophy aimed at a selected production of extremely high quality wines.

Food: With some fine help from Google Translate, a recipe for
Musèt e brovada
Which Academia Barilla tells me translates to: Muset, a sausage made from pork shin, snout and skin, pairs well with the sweet-sour taste of horseradish or brovada, a pickled turnip dish, similar to sauerkraut. 

• 1 kg of brovade
• 2 musèt or cotechini
• 50 g of lard
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 clove of garlic
• 1/2 white onion
• salt

Reduce the lard to a very well beaten, put it in a pan and flavor the onion cut into very thin slices and the crushed garlic clove. After a few minutes, remove the garlic, add the brovadas, the bay leaf, salt and pepper, cook for about 40 minutes or more.
In another saucepan boil the cotechini pierced with a needle for about 1 hour, then drain them and add them to the brovadas, leave to flavor for a few minutes, withdraw and serve.