Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Wine & Food of the Giro 2015 Stage 16: Vercesi del Castellazzo Pezzalunga & Apple Strudel

Where are we: Pinzolo - Aprica
174 KM - High Mountain

Pinzolo is a small town  situated in Val Rendena in Trentino in the northern Italian Alps. The tourist website tells me that the town is located at an ideal elevation of 700-800 m a.s.l. in the wide Sarca valley, at the feet of majestic mountains - granitic on the right side and dolomitic on the other. 150 km of pistes in the Campiglio Dolomiti di Brenta Val di Sole Val Rendena ski area are served by 61 ski lift systems, including the new Pinzolo-Campiglio Express cablecar, which wend their way through ever-changing landscapes and also descend into the valley.

Aprica is a town in the province of Sondrio, Lombardy.  It is located on the eponymous pass, connecting Valtellina to Val Camonica.
Its main source of income is tourism, utilizing the areas geography to offer skiing (winter) and mountain biking (summer) opportunities.

The stage: The hardest day of the Giro? Maybe. The riders are worried:

Certainly beautiful though:

The break of the day: Pellizotti, Zardini, Bookwalter, De la Cruz, Niemec, Fernandez, Felline, Hesjedal, Armee, and Mihaylov. As the gap dropped, Hesjedal went out the front solo.  
Sixty kilometers to go and there were gaps in the peloton with Contador behind the lead group after a suspected puncture. He was about forty seconds behind Aru, but was chasing with teammates. Fifty kilometers to go and Hesjedal was forty seconds over the main peloton and one minute over the Contador group. 
A few kilometers down the road and the breakaway had been caught. Contador was still behind and had burned through all of his teammates during the chase. 


Cycling Twitter thinks that Contador will make it.

Ahead, Landa looked stronger than Aru. With about forty kilometers to go, there was Contador. The gaps had been wrong and he could see the Aru group ahead. Sure enough, he went by them, chasing Kruiswijk ahead. Landa went with him. They would make the catch, making it a group of three at the front of the race. Thirty eight kilometers to go and the gap to Aru was already around one minute. Apparently there is weather ahead:

And there were the crazy fans. Out of the road, please!

Ahead, Contador was at the front for the descent. And now, a bike change for Aru. He had been riding with Amador, but would now continue solo. With just under fourteen kilometers to go the gap was 1’04” to Trofimov, 1’31” to Amador and Hesjedal, and 1’47” to Aru. I'm worried about the grupetto. Fingers crossed that they will make it in time. Adam Hansen has records to set, after all.

Four kilometers to go and they started to attack each other out front. Landa was looking very good for the stage win. 

Stage: Mikel Landa


Wine: Vercesi del Castellazzo Pezzalunga Rosso
from Dig $20

From the importer:The Vercesi del Castellazzo estate is located in the village of Montu Beccaria, 30 miles southwest of Milan in the heart of the Oltrepo' Pavese region in the hills overlooking the city of Stradella, south of the Po River.  The winery was established in 1808, when the great-grand father of the present owner (Dr. Franco Vercesi) purchased the castle in Montu that was built before the 12th century by the Beccaria family, a noble family from the important town of Pavia. Ultimately, the castle was given to the Barnabite religious order during the 1500s and was converted to a monastery.  Napoleon’s invading army seized the property and, at that point, the Vercesi family , long-time vine-growers, acquired the building and property to be used as the family residence and cantina.  The fourth and fifth generation Vercesis are now in place.

Producer website: http://www.vercesidelcastellazzo.it/EN/index.html

I say: 30-40 % Barbera, 20-30 % Croatina, 10% Vespolina, 30-40 % Pinot Noir. Wayne at Dig describes the wine this way: "Castellazo's barbera-based blend strikes a bright and earthy balance. Berry, plum, and sour cherry notes combine with dashes of black tea, smoke, and mint. This is one of the great matches for pasta and pizza."

I agree. This is a pizza wine indeed. Fresh and gulpable with berries. I'll be buying more of this one.

Food: Apple Strudel
Why, yes, apple strudel. We'd never made one before and it turns out it is the signature dessert of the region. At K's insistence, it was srved with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream.
We used the recipe on Food52 here.
From the link: "You may not think of strudel as a classic Italian dish: The name strudel isn't even Italian, but rather German. This is what makes regional Italian cuisine so interesting. The country's geography –- its borders, its landscape –- factors into the character and traditions of each region.
Apple Strudel -- a dessert of apples, pine nuts, and raisins or currants rolled up in paper-thin pastry -- is the defining dish of Italy's Trentino-Alto Adige region. This autonomous province borders Austria to the north and is squeezed between the Veneto and Lombardy regions to the south. Knowing this -- and that the region was part of Austria until after the first World War -- helps explain why this Austrian favorite is also beloved in Italy. Strudel's history goes back even further, though: It was brought to Austria by the Turks (there's an undeniable similarity between strudel and the more ancient baklava).

In northern Italy, such as the Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia regions, you can find strudel in various forms -- sometimes made with puff pastry, sometimes with shortcrust pastry. But the Trentino way is very much like what you find in Vienna: a thin, somewhat-flaky, and crisp pastry that gives way to something soft when eaten at room temperature a few hours after baking."

No comments:

Post a Comment