Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wine & Food of the Giro 2015 Stage 17: Cave des Tilleuls Humagne Rouge & Polenta Taragna

Where are we: Tirano - Lugano  134 KM - Flat

Tirano is a town in Valtellina, located in the province of Sondrio. It is adjacent to the Switzerland-Italy boundary. The river Adda flows through the town.

Lugano is a city in southern Switzerland, in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino.  It is the 9th largest city of Switzerland by population, the largest city in Ticino, and the largest city with an Italian speaking majority outside of Italy.
The city lies on Lake Lugano, surrounded by the mountains of the Lugano Prealps. Its warm summers and the fact that in recent years it has attracted an ever growing number of celebrities, entertainers, and successful athletes have given it the nickname of the "Monte Carlo of Switzerland". The city tourist website is here.

The stage: Should be one for the remaining sprinters. Many of them went home last week, so this is a reward for those that chose to stay. Our break of the day Bandiera, Berlato and Kiesse. Nice weather for their likely to be doomed attempt.

With fifty six kilometers to go, their gap was under two minutes. Thirty seven kilometers to go and the gap was just over a minute, as they neared the Swiss border. The catch came at around twenty five kilometers to go and hey, Adam Hansen! Fifteen kilometers to go and he had around twenty seconds. Eleven kilometers to go and it was under ten seconds and then he was caught. Alas. There went Slagter and then Gilbert, followed by Paolini. Two kilometers to go and Paolini was up front solo.But he would be caught. Sprint! Nice work by Lampre.

Stage: Sasha Modolo 


Wine: Cave des Tilleuls Humagne Rouge
From Frankly Wines

From the importer:
Working with the indigenous varietals of the Valais, the Cottagnouds are traditionalists, yet they also manage to push the boundaries with their wines.  They experiment with their vinification to unlock the potential of each varietal, going so far as to produce a Jura-style Vin Jaune of Amigne, the marquee grape of the Valais.

Fabienne is responsible for the vinification of the wines and Marc-Henri manages the vineyards.  This couple takes a holistic approach the production of their wines and the favorable climate that surrounds the Valais provides great advantage to organic farming as this spectacular region is blessed with abundant sunshine and moderate rainfall. 

The Humagne grape variety is a difficult one to grow to maturity.  The fruit for this wine is normally harvested towards the end of October and this extended growing season allows the grapes to develop character in a slow and measured way.  An intriguing rustic sense suggests the wild nature of the peaks around this vineyard.  This is a rugged wine that, we believe, will prove its worth over time as a unique and satisfying expression of the particular terroir of the Valais.

I say: A red Swiss wine. How could I resist?  Deep color, full bodied, with berries.

Food: Polenta Taragna
I admit it, this is not a pretty food. But I wanted to try this regional specialty. Essentially you combine traditional polenta with buckwheat flour. It is then finished with cheese, in my case, Taleggio. Some sources suggest it is a meal alone, some suggest serving with sausages. Rib-sticking either way.

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