Friday, May 29, 2015

Wine & Food of the Giro 2015 Stage 19: Ermes Pavese Blanc de Morgex Et De La Salle & Beet and Potato Gnocchi

Gravellona Toce - Cervinia 236 KM - High Mountain

The regional website tells me that "the most important building in Gravellona Toce is the Romanesque Church of San Maurizio, news of which dates back to at least the 10th century. It had a tormented history and was used as a leper hospital in the 17th century. Its walls – decorated on the outside with hanging arches – have rectangular windows that have taken the place of the original single lights. Inside, in the single nave, cross vaults with a 15th-century roof were recently replaced with bare trusses. The bell tower – which is independent from but directly connected to the church – dates back to the end of the 11th century and is on the north side. The bell chamber and orthogonal cupola were added later."

 From the tourist website: "An infinite snowy area that begins at 1,524 metres, in Valtournenche, embraces Breuil-Cervinia, rises up to 3,480 metres of Plateau Rosà, touches the 4,000 m peak of Piccolo Cervino, climbes up to 4,478 m to the top of the Cervino. An area where the infinite snow continues on the Swiss side to Zermatt.  An area where the snow is the setting of sport, holidays and fun.  The tourism vocation of Breuil-Cervinia Valtournenche has it’s beginning more than two hundred years ago. Excursionists and academics were the pioneers of a tourism that united sport, scientific study and intellectual exchange.  In 1936, a new Breuil-Cervinia was created. The construction of the first cable car was a cutting-edge work of engineering excellence. The Hotel "Gran Baita" situated at the foot of the slopes, with the cable car departure station annexed to it, anticipates by over half a century the concept of an integral complex for skiing. Breuil-Cervinia became the Queen of the snow.  From sport to cinema, politics and commerce, those who count meet here."

The stage:  Late start to video this morning. As it started, the situation on the road:

Thirty seven kilometers to go and Kiryienka was caught by the peloton. Thirty three kilometers to go and Visconti had 2:21 on the pink jersey group. Sixteen kilometers to go and Visconti remained out front alone with a gap of 1:37. 

Thirteen kilometers to go and the gap was just about one minute. Ten kilometers to go and they were all together. And, action! Attacks from within the leading peloton and very soon there were only five left at the front:
Aru, Landa, Contador, Hesjedal and Kruijswijk. Attacking that group, Hesjedal, with Aru following. Six kilometers to go and Aru had passed Hesjadal. Five kilometers to go and he had forty seconds over the pink jersey group. Behind, Uran caught and passed that group. Ahead, Aru's lead grew and he would win the stage. Next in, Hesjedal. Third, Uran.




Wine: Ermes Pavese Blanc de Morgex Et De La Salle
From Dig  $28

From the importer:  Ermes Pavese is a youthful grower in the commune of La Ruine just outside of the town of Morgex in the high Alps minutes from the summit of Mont Blanc.  Pavese works the native grape known as Prié Blanc. Starting with barely two hectares of vineyards, situated at about 1200 meters above sea level, Pavese has gradually expanded his holdings in this high altitude zone. He now produces three versions of Blanc de Morgex et de La Salle.  Because these vineyards are so isolated, Pavese has been able to work with the original, pre-phylloxera root stock since that malady never infiltrated this area when it came sweeping through Europe many years ago.

A stunning wine from the highest vineyard site in Europe, with annual production of about 12,000 bottles of this austere, racy, mineral white wine  with vivacity and length.

I say: Gulped this down while assembling a lasagna for another stage. And gulpable it was.  Pale straw in color. Peaches, flowers, minerality, and acid.

Food: Beet and Potato Gnocchi

Another Pasta by Hand recipe. I felt fairly accomplished with this one, making gnocchi from beets I had grown in our back garden.
It turns out, it has been my favorite so far of the recipes I have tried from the book  

There is a Jenn Louis Beet Gnocchi recipe here,  though it is rather different from the one I made. That version features roasted beets mixed with potatoes and no ricotta. That said, the ricotta version sounds great.

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