Thursday, May 28, 2015

Wine & Food of the Giro 2015 Stage 18: Castello di Neive Grignolino & La Tur

Melide - Verbania 170 KM - Medium Mountain

Melide is located in the district of Lugano in the canton of Ticino. The village lies very close to the mountain Monte San Salvatore and is directly on the Lake of Lugano. It is apparently well known for Swissminiatur. Their website tells me that "Swissminiatur was inaugurated on 6th June 1959 and celebrated its 50 year anniversary in 2009. In an area of 14,000 m2 visitors can admire more than 120 models at scale of 1:25 which represent the most important buildings, monuments and transportation means in Switzerland. A 3,560m long model railway with 18 trains runs through the park."

Verbania is the capital city of the province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola in Piedmont. The tourist website tells me that ""Verbania, a garden on the lake": this is the image of itself with which Verbania, in its marvellous natural setting on the Borromean Gulf, welcomes visitors. Gardens and parks are a major tourist attraction of the area, an ideal destination for those seeking a relaxing holiday with, as backdrop, a landscape of breathtaking beauty and harmony. In the 19th century Lake Maggiore was discovered by literary and artistic travellers, whose descriptions of the area helped to make it a favourite destination of the European upper classes. The lake, with the Borromean Islands set into it like jewels, which so fascinated these élite tourists, now has a public boat service, and the palaces and gardens of the islands are easily reached from Verbania.
Following the example of the Borromeo family, members of the English aristocracy and the wealthy Lombard bourgeoisie built the profusion of summer residences which were to have a profound impact on the landscape, and still adorn the lake shores today."

The stage:  Off they go again. Our break of the day is large:
Nocentini, Bongiorni, Gilbert, Moinard, De La Cruz, Chavanel, Ferrari, Cunego, Weening, Busato, Villella, Haga, Belkov, and Siutsou.


With seventy six kilometers to go, they were over eleven minutes up.  Cunego crashed and abandoned the race. In that same crash, Ferrari was dropped from the break. Fifty five kilometers to go and it was over twelve minutes. Under fifty kilometers to go and they started to climb, ten kilometers of nine percent with some patches of thirteen percent. Behind, a crash with what seemed to be most of the remaining Sky team. Not down though, Konig and Eisel. Mechanical issues for Landa and an attack by Contador. Payback?

Forty kilometers to go and our lead group contained Gilbert, Chavanel, De la Cruz, Moinard, Bongiorno, Nocentini and Siustsou.

And the break would make it. 


Gilbert would ride solo to victory, while behind, Contador gained more time on his rivals. 




Wine: Castello di Neive Grignolino
Sample from Winebow 
$SRP 16.00

From the importer
Castello di Neive and the surrounding 150 acre estate are owned by the Stupino family, siblings Anna, Giulio, Italo, and Piera.  The Castello di Neive winery began when Giacomo Stupino, the family patriarch, capitalized on his experience as a surveyor and his knowledge of the area to purchase favorable vineyards and land whenever possible.  In the small cellars of their family home, the Stupino’s began their first wine production (including Messoirano, Montebertotto, Basarin, Valtorta, and i Cortini) and, over time, their acquired vineyards grew with the family’s production and ambitions.  In 1964 the family purchased the castle with its spacious cellars, along with more land and farmsteads in Santo Stefano and Marcorino.  This marked a turning point when the Stupino’s were able to renovate the castle cellars and reorganize their vineyards to produce wine according to modern methods.  When Giacomo died in 1970, Giulio and Italo oversaw the transition from tenant farming to direct management of the land, initiating production and export of Castello di Neive wines abroad.

Location of Vineyard: The cellars of Castello di Neive are extremely large, clearly demonstrating the designers’ optimism that the winery’s quality would be easily recognized.  Castello di Neive comprises a 150 acre (60 hectares) estate, all in the Neive town council, in the Langhe area of the Piedmont region. Sixty-two acres (25 hectares) of the property are devoted to grape growing and all the production (approximately 12,000 cases a year) is obtained from Castello di Neive’s own vines in the following vineyards:  Basarin, Cortini, Gallina, Marcorino, Messoirano-Montebertotto; Santo Stefano and Valtorta.

This Grignolino is a small-production gem (at 4,000 bottles annually) that is incredibly food friendly.  Made from 100% Grignolino grapes, it shows the lightness and finesse which has made Grignolino a widely-appreciable wine.  Following fermentation, this wine is aged for 3 months in stainless steel to preserve its fresh, fruit-forward aromas.

Tasting Notes: Light ruby in color, aromas of red fruits and roses complement undertones of Bing cherries, strawberries, and hints of spice box.  On the palate, crisp acidity and smooth tannins make for a food friendly wine.

I say: I do like my Northern Italian reds. Light red fruits and flowers. Lots of acidity.

Food: La Tur cheese:
From the great wine region of Piemonte comes La Tur: a dense, creamy blend of pasteurized cow, goat and sheep milk. Runny and oozing around the perimeter with a moist, cakey, palette-coating paste, its flavor is earthy and full, with a lingering lactic tang.

Learn more here or here

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