Last Sunday, the Samoggia Valley, southwest of Bologna, hosted the second edition of a gastronomic-cultural motoring event for vintage car fans and gourmands.
“Il Raid del Pignoletto” was organized by the Centro Socioculturale Sandro Pertini, a community center for the elderly in Zola Predosa, and Team San Luca, a club for vintage car enthusiasts based just north of Bologna. According to Andrea Scagliarini, the event's spokesman, part of the aim was “to involve all of the associations in the area, in order to promote all the wonderful things that we have, from food, to culture, to cars.”
The event was particularly welcome in the wake of the agricultural damage caused by the two May earthquakes in Emilia Romagna. Coldiretti, the largest union of agricultural workers in Italy, estimate that 7,000 farms were damaged, 2,000 seriously, and the cost of repairs has surpassed 700 million euros.
Forty vintage cars showed up for the procession, which wound its way around the luxuriant hills of the Samoggia Valley.
The entry that attracted the most interest, according to Scagliarini, was a Ferrari 330 GPC, which had belonged to Enzo Ferrari, the founder of the motor company. There were also three Lamborghinis – two modern, one vintage – and Fabio Lamborghini, the late Enzio's nephew, attended the event.
Motorists navigated the “Strada dei Vini e dei Sapori Città Castelli Ciliegi” ("Road of Wines and Flavours, City of Castles and Cherries") – an enogastronomic tourist route designed to promote local producers. The countryside in the area is littered with vineyards, where the local grape variety pignoletto, is cultivated. Other highlights include medieval villages, the abbey of Monteveglio and the historic center of Cresepllano.
The event's culminating lunch featured typical local dishes and products, such as mortadella, which was paired with Pignoletto dei Colli Bolognesi.
The menu was as follows:
According to the Consorzio Vini Colli Bolgonesi (an association of winemakers based in the Bologna hills), pignoletto is the “Re dei Colli Bolognesi” (King of the Bologna Hills). It certainly has ancient roots. Apparently, Pliny the Elder wrote about a wine called “Pino Lieto” (Happy Pine), thought to be pignoletto, in his 1st century AD “Naturalis Historia.”
Participants in the "Raid" went home with a bottle of pignoletto and a half-kilogram of mortadella, courtesy of the Strada dei Vini e dei Sapori, allowing them to recreate this very Bolognese food and wine pairing.