#Giro2020 Stage 12: Pedaling North to Emilia-Romagna and the Wines of Cantina Braschi

On Wednesday, the peloton ambled along a gorgeous stretch of coastline up until the bunch sprint to the finish. All the big players were jockeying for position, especially maglia ciclomino wearer Arnaud Demare, Peter Sagan, Fernando Gaviria, and Alvaro Hodeg. I won’t keep you in suspense: it was a fight to the line, with Demare claiming his fourth stage of the 2020 Giro. Sagan was second, adding to his points but they do him no good when the current jersey holder wins the day.

Here’s a video recap of the day:

Nevertheless it was a beautiful day, capped off with a classic, frenzied conclusion. What’s better than that?

Thursday brings us to Stage 12 and a long, bumpy loop around Cesenatico, in Emilia-Romagna. Take a look at the profile map to see the fun that awaits the peloton:

Stage 12 Profile Map (www.giroditalia.it)

About Cantina Braschi

For almost 70 years, Cantina Braschi has brought focus to the native grapes of Emilia-Romagna, making wine in the countryside of Cesena. Lying in the far southeast of the province along the border with the Marche, Cesena is neighbor to both Apennine foothills and Adriatic beaches. Throughout history this pocket of Emilia-Romagna has served as a trading hub, thanks to its favorable location on an ancient Roman road that crosses the province.

When Davide Castagnoli and Vincenzo Vernocchi took over Cantina Braschi about 10 years ago, they honored the history of Cesena by restoring the reputation of the region’s indigenous grape varieties by crafting high-quality wines that would appeal to a wide swath of consumers. Since they took over, Cantina Braschi has won awards for traditional wines made from the local Albano and Famoso grapes; it has also received praise for wines from better-known grapes like Sangiovese and Trebbiano.

The Grapes and Vineyards

Sangiovese is the most prominent grape, making up 75% of all plantings. Albana (10%), Famoso (5%), and Trebbiano (5%) comprise the balance. There are three specific vineyard plots, each one giving special qualities to the wines made from their grapes:

Campo San Mamante in Cesena, is home to the DOCG Albana wines – both dry and late-harvest. The 20-year-old vines rest in calcareous clay soils at 150 meters in elevation. Here the Adriatic breezes keep the vines cool and impart a saline quality to the finished wines.

Tenuta del Gelso in Bertinoro is for Sangiovese, and is similar to Campo San Mamante in that the vines lie at moderate altitude on calcareous clay soil.

Podere Montesasso in Mercato Saraceno produces wine from Famoso (Rubicone IGT) and Sangiovese. Vines are planted much higher (350 meters) and on much different soil than in Tenuta del Gelso. Here the sandstone soils result in a much different expression of Sangiovese than in Tenuta del Gelso.

And, Now, the Wines . . .

NV Terramossa No. 1 Rosé Brut – 100% Sangiovese, this is a sparkler made via the Martinotti (aka Charmat or Tank) Method. It features festive cranberry, strawberry, and citrus aromas, with abundant red fruit flavors, including a rhubarb finish. No better way to get the party started than with a dry, delicious rosé sparkler

NV Terramossa No. 2 Brut – A blanc de blancs mélange of Albana (70%) and Trebbiano (30%). Definitely a new blend for me!

Campo Mamante Romagna Albano Secco DOCG – single-vineyard offering of 100% Albano from 20-year-old vines, this white wine spends a little time on its skins, and has lovely floral and herbal notes in addition to bright citrus fruit. It’s shy on the nose but not so on the finish, which is all lemon peel, anise, and acacia flowers.

Monte Sasso Famoso Rubicone IGT – I had never tried Famoso, so was particularly looking forward to tasting this wine made from grapes farmed at high elevation. Peaches, thyme, honey, and citrus notes explode out of the glass. A delightful sip from one of Italy’s many native grapes that are little-known outside the country.

Monte Sasso Romagna Sangiovese San Vicinio DOC – 100% Sangiovese – a real treat.

Il Costone Sangiovese Bertinoro Riserva – single-vineyard offering from 20-30 year-old vines, aged for 24 months in large oak casks. Needs a special meal, for sure!

Enjoy the race and the wines of Emilia-Romagna. Next up is a preview of the weekend, when we creep northward, ever closer to the Alps.

4 comments

  1. I’ve only tasted Cantina Braschi still wines. Sangiovese sparkling would be a first for me, as would the #2 as you say. I remember fantastic quality and reasonable prices. Add the native grapes and that equals a win! (Maybe we should have Sagan sip some?!?)

    Liked by 1 person

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