FMM was recently approached by the CIAO Club South Africa (Classic Italian Automobile Owners) to participate in the inaugural Giro dei Vigneti (lap of the Vineyards). The event was the initiative of Sonja-Liezel Theron out of a promise made to friend and CIAO founder Nick Pryke before, sadly, he passed away. The idea was to take only Italian cars on a journey through some of the Cape Winelands where great roads, stunning views, fantastic food, genuine fellowship and fine accommodation were the order of the day. It was all about enjoying the journey as a ‘family’ group. The tour started at FMM with all the style and glamour of any European event. Participants were asked to dress in the period of their car so there was a strong ’60s and ’70s vibe.
Taking part were an Alfa Romeo 1750 GTV, Ferrari 365 GT/4, Ferrari Mondial T, a pair of Ferrari 360s, Ferrari California, Ferrari Mondial Quattrovalvole, Dino 308 GT4, Fiat 1200 Spider, Lamborghini 400GT and a Maserati GranSport Spider together with FMM’s Lorenzo Farella in FMMs Alfa Romeo Montreal, and curator Wayne Harley on the sole motorcycle, a Ducati 900 Mike Hailwood replica. The Cape Alfa Romeo club turned up in support and Crossley & Webb also sent along a few cars including a stunning De Tomaso Mangusta.
On Day 1 after meeting up and having lunch, entrants had a brief look at FMM’s PlaasPad before an Italian wine tasting at the L’Ormarins Estate’s Terra del Capo tasting room. Then the Giro began in earnest and over the next eight days the route took in the Bainskloof Pass, Du Toitskloof Pass, Franschhoek Pass, Tradouw Pass Theronsberg Pass and Michell’s Pass with stay-overs at De Leeuwenhof Estate, Hermanus Guest House, Jan Harmsgat Country House, Karoo Hotel Village and Saronsberg Vineyard Cottages.
The Giro dei Vigneti proved to be a motoring and culinary experience that was thoroughly enjoyed by all as these post-event comments confirm:
“An unforgettable eight days of thrilling routes that took us off the beaten track, sublime scenery, wonderful destinations and cuisine, all punctuated by the sounds and sights of gorgeous Italian cars.” Dave Gilson
“If I was to single out one aspect that made the trip so memorable, aside from the attention to detail, the smooth organization, the sensational driving roads and scenery, the interesting and unique events and the gourmet food, of course, it would be the people.” David Buchner.
“The Giro dei Vigneti was a singular opportunity to experience in South Africa the kind of camaraderie and laid-back enjoyment of life that seems so intrinsic to European and specifically Italian classic and sports car tours.” Dirk du Plessis
“The Giro de Vigneti started out in someone’s dreams and ended up being the ultimate adventure and a dream come true.” The Scalco family.
“There were different car brands represented on the tour, but never was there any rivalry or silly comments about other brands. Although it was a diverse group of people, we all share a similar passion and that is great.” Theo Lotter.
“FMM was an appropriate choice of start/end point with its fabulous collection of motoring icons and they are to be commended for the invaluable technical and logistical support they offered behind the scenes.” Richard Gundersen
The CIAO Club`s activities can be followed on https://web.facebook.com/ItalianMarqueClassicCars/