Our Giro d’Italia Mixed Case, Italian Wine Mixed Case, 6 bottles, all natural wines from the route of the 2023 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 easily worth it.
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 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.
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.
The race and its wine regions….
So to this years race. It will cover an incredible 3489.2 km in three weeks and will cross many of Italy’s most famous wine regions. The race starts on the Adriatic, in the Marche, a region famed for its Verdicchio white and reds made mainly from Montepulciano, like Rosso Piceno. It then heads south and twice visits Abruzzo with Campania sandwiched in between. One of the big summit finishes is at the the top of the Gran Sasso d’Italia, the highest point of the Apennines and right in the centre of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo production. Then the race heads up to Emilia Romagna and the wine area of Rubicone (the region of the much missed Italian Cycling legend Marco Pantani) before a stage start slap bang in the middle of the Lambrusco zone south east of Modena. Next a brief sojourn into Tuscany before heading up the Ligurian coastline past La Spezia and the many vines of Vermentino. Next on the menu are a couple of stages in Piemonte, for some Barbera and Barolo just before the real hard stuff starts. The final week of the race is a grueling trip across the northern mountains starting with a stage finish in the Valais, Switzerland at the Ski Station of Crans Montana. This area is the home of Switzerland’s signature grapes, the Petite Arvine and Fendant. The riders then face several stages across the Italian Alpes and Dolomites with some brutal climbs and plenty of vineyards. The northern region of Trentino is known for its gutsy reds made from Lagrein, Teroldego and Marzemino, and following that, they head into the Veneto for some cheapy Pinot Grigio and Prosecco. To finish off the race, the organisers have taken the strange and ludicrous decision 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 short of one bottle per kilometre! Well they have a lot of driving to do I suppose…..
Finally, our case!
At Buon Vino, we try to be just a bit different. Rather than fill our case with Barolo, Valpolicella and Prosecco, we have curated six fascinating bottles from lesser known origins. The wine is none the less delicious and showcases the diversity of Italy’s grapes and keeps fantastic value for money. Don’t forget all are also 100% natural production.
We hope you will enjoy watching this incredible race and drinking these delicious bottles. Keep an eye out on Instagram for some food recommendations too. Cin Cin.
STAGE 2 – Teramo – San Salvo – Rosso Piceno Aurora 2021
The stunning area of Ascoli Piceno is carpeted in vines and produces some of the best value red in Italy. Franco Aurora makes natural wine here from his 18 hectares of vines and his wine is pure southern sunshine, super easy, serve chilled if hot, normal temp if not, goes with anything or on its own, soft, supple Montepulciano.
STAGE 10 – Scandiano – Viareggio – Lambrusco di Sorbara Visio Koi 2021
Flavio Restani is set to be the king of traditional Lambrusco. His completely ‘hands off’ approach to wine making and superb vineyard sites make for exceptional quality wine. The Sorbara is a light but textural pink wine with style and class and just to a touch of fizz, open carefully over the sink, it tends of to leap out of the glass initially!
STAGE 11 – Camaiore – Tortona – Vermentino Bianco Il Torchio 2021
Edoardo and Gilda Musetti make superb vermentino from their small farm in Castelnuovo Magra a few clicks from the Mediterranean. Il Torchio Bianco named after the olive press at the old farm is a gorgeous white wine for any fish, soft cheese or veggie dishes.
STAGE 12 – Bra – Rivoli – Barbera Rossore Cantina Iuli 2018
Cantina Iuli lies directly north of Asti and in the Barbera production zone of Piemonte. They make several different Cuvee of natural Barbera, Rossore being one of the slightly older, richer and juicier examples, delicious with some Sausage and Pasta.
STAGE 13 – Borgofranco d’Ivrea – Crans Montana – Fendant Liaudisaz Marie Therese Chappaz 2021
Crans Montana lies at 1500 metres above the breathtaking Valais region. The vines of Fendant cling to the south facing slopes and Marie Therese Chappaz makes some of the best at her incredible biodynamic farm based around Fully. This wine is class in a glass.
STAGE 16 – Sabio Chiese – Monte Bondone – Riflesso Rosato Eugenio Rosi 2021
Monte Bondone was the scene of the one of the most famous exploits in the Giro’s history when the Legendary Luxembourg climber Charlie Gaul decimated the field in a snow storm and won by minutes. About 10 km from its base is the small village of Volano where legendary Trentino wine maker Eugenio Rosi still plies his trade with his family’s help and his small patch of natural vines. The deep coloured Rose from Cabernet and Marzemino is his most accessible and easy drinking wine but check out the others too, they are super.