Il Giro d’Italia 2024 – Mixed Case 6 Bottles VIVA ITALIA!!

WHEN?

The Giro d'Italia, the world's second biggest and most beautiful professional bike race starts this Saturday 4th May in Torino, the historic capital city of Piemonte.  As bike lovers we celebrate this three week bonanza of pro racing with a celebration case to with wines from the route so you can absorb the racing and the booze at the same time.  The scenery on the race is the best in the world, the racing is always exhilarating and this case of delicious Italian wines will make it even better.  Order before midday tomorrow for delivery on Friday, the day before the start of the race!

THE STAGES AND OUR SELECTION

STAGE  3 – Novara – Fossano (Piemonte) Moscato d’Asti Bera et Figli 2022 

STAGE 4 – Acqui Terme – Andora (Liguria) Brezza Pigato Dell’Erba 2022

STAGE 12 – Martinsicuro – Fano (Marche) Rosso Conero Villa Malacari 2018

STAGE 14 – Castiglione delle Stiviere – Dezensano del Garda (Lombardia/Veneto right on the border) Lugana Ca Lojera 2022

STAGE 15 – Manerba del Garda – Livigno (Lombardia) Nebbiolo Costa Bassa Vini Fay 2020

STAGE 17 – Val Gardena – Passo del Brocon (Trentino) Teroldego Rotaliano Foradori 2020

BUY THE CASE

WHY?

Our Giro d’Italia Mixed Case are all natural wines from the route of the 2024 Giro d’Italia, The Tour of Italy.  If you come to our little wine shop nestled in the hills of the Yorkshire Dales, you will see pictures of Cyclists and famous professional bike races on the walls.  After natural wine, this is our ‘Seconda Passione’.  Professional road cycling and natural wine production actually have many similar themes.  Both endeavours require incredible dedication, sacrifice and suffering.  The two things create images of breathtaking natural beauty.  Wine and Cycling pitch human beings against the vagaries of nature and most experience more failure than success.  But ultimately, both these pursuits can illicit such feelings of emotion and joy that all the sacrifice, hard work and pain are worth it.

LIFESTYLE....

Lifestyle also plays an important part of the natural wine movement and at Buon Vino, we firmly believe that enjoying great wine and enjoying sport and activity go hand in hand. Like wine, Cycling is embedded in European culture. It provides a healthy balance to offset the alcohol and well, like natural wine, cycle racing is super cool.  There is nothing more enjoyable than sitting on a shady terrace in Tuscany, enjoying a glass of chilled Sangiovese, having spent a couple of hours cruising the hills and vineyards.

CONTEXT....

The Giro d’Italia started in 1909 and is steeped in history.  The connection to the country’s wine regions is obvious as you watch the peloton whizz through the vineyards. Some ex-riders have also set up wineries; 1984 Giro winner and World Champion, Francesco Moser probably being the most famous. The winery which Francesco started with his brother Diego lies in the beautiful Cembra Valley, in Trentino.  It produces a couple of hundred thousand bottles a year and is now run now by his son and nephew. Other notable ex pros who went into wine include Marzio Bruseghin.  He was third in the 2008 Giro and now makes his own Prosecco.  Former pro team manager, cycling podcaster and all round cycling dude Brian Nygard is a wine maker in California.  When it comes to enjoying great wine and allowing its flavours to transport you to its place of origin, watching a beautiful bike race (and the Giro has to be world’s most beautiful) is a fantastic vehicle for this experience.  Of course, it is important to have some great food on the go as well, so we recommend a bag of Emidio Pepe Pasta, the best in Italy to go with the wine.

THE RACE, THE STAGES AND OUR SELECTIONS…..

So to this years race.  It is slightly shorter than last year but still will cover an incredible 3400.8 km in three weeks and will cross many of Italy’s most famous wine regions.  The race starts in Piemonte, perhaps Italy’s most celebrated wine region and although they pass through the town of Cherasco and the heart of the Barolo area, we have decided to forego the ‘Wine of Kings’ (partly because the good stuff is now super pricey and would push our case price through the roof!  We always have quality and value in mind at Buon Vino).  Instead we have chosen an often overlooked but delicious wine from the route of Stage 3 Novara – Fossano, which goes through Asti.  The lightly sparkling and sweet style of Moscato d’Asti is a lovely way to celebrate the start of the race and it is so low in alcohol, you can go for a ride after finishing the bottle whilst watching the stage.   Next day the race hits the stunning Ligurian coast line on stage 4, heading from the spa town of Acqui Terme to the coastal town, Andora (no skiing in this Andora).  It passes through Albenga, home of our second winery Dell'Erba, and their superb white wine made from the local salty white grape Pigato.

We then have a few days off the wine as the race goes south, we bypass Tuscany and Umbria (I know Tuscany has some lovely wine but you can’t do it all in 6 bottles), go through Campania and Abruzzo and then head into the Marche up the coast from Martinsicuro to Fano on Stage 12.   The stage passes within a couple of kilometres of the little hilltop town of Offagna, where I had one of the most delightful tastings of my career many years ago at the 15th century estate of Villa Malacari.  They make very old school and completely natural Montepulciano here, called Conero, and they have been doing so for over 500 years at their tumbling down old Villa perched on top of the hill.

The race then heads north towards to final week and the big showdown in the Alps and Dolomites.  Hot favourite Tadej Pogacar, possibly the most gifted cyclist to have ever lived will want to stamp his authority on the race here.  But watch out for our own Geraint Thomas, former Tour de France winner and although now 37 years old, still one of the best three week stage racers in the peloton.  We are rooting for G!

Our next wine comes from the route of stage 14, the time trial on the southern shores of Lake Garda,  from Castiglione delle Stiviere to Desenzano del Garda.  Again the race goes within a gnats whisker of our next winery, Lugana Ca Lojera, a gorgeous, easy drinking white made from the local Trebbiano di Lugana grape.  The following day the race heads into the very high mountains Stage 15 from Manerba del Garda – Livigno over the legendary Mortirolo pass, site of the some of the race’s most incredible exploits and an impossibly hard road to ride up on a bike.  Just a few KM west of the pass, you dive down into the Valtellina where you will find the best Nebbiolo outside of Piemonte and here in the pretty town of Teglio is the site of our next winery, our good friends at Vini Fay.  They produce a range of delicious Nebbiolos and we have included the Costa Bassa, literally the ‘lower slopes’ in our selection.  The local hearty Pasta dish is called Pizzocheri, and it goes great with Nebbiolo, but any pasta and meat sauce will do with this elegant but hearty red.

Finally onto stage 17 and the race through the Trentino from Val Gardena to Passo del Brocon.  If you look at the profile of this 100 mile ride through the mountains, it looks like sharks teeth.  Four massive climbs will see the riders suffering like dogs all day and only the best will be there at the finish.  The Trentino is famous for its mountains, Cyclists and also some lesser known grape varieties like our 6th and final wine, made from the Teroldego grape.  This isn’t just any Teroldego however, Elizabetta Foradori is the best.

We hope these six wines will add to the pleasure of an amazing journey through the unique landscape and cultural tapestry of Italy.  Even if you are not into watching Cycling, but love your Italian wine, this is a fantastic selection, showcasing some delicious natural growers.

To finish off the race, the organisers have taken the strange and ludicrous decision once again to fly the entire entourage back to Rome for the final stage, (which seems like a total waste of time and CO2 to me) so much for green cycling!  It is rumored that the entourage of managers and back up staff will consume at least 3445 bottles of wine during the event, that is just over one bottle per kilometre!  Well they have a lot of driving to do I suppose…..Enjoy the race and Cin Cin!