Veneto, our land
Veneto can boast of being one of the most beautiful and celebrated places in the world. A region where the sea is enhanced by the charm of the Venetian lagoon, where some of the most majestic peaks of the Dolomites mountains imperiously dominate. Sweets and fairy hills are interspersed with a generous and fertile plains, where the water abundance due to the Garda lake and rivers like the Piave and the Adige has allowed – from immemorial age – the development of civilization, and where cities – as Venice, Verona, Treviso, Padova and Vicenza – so rich in art and history give it that uniqueness, that distinguishes it. In this land – already popular in Roman Age and then heart of the Republic of Venice – the wine has always played a key-role. Cultivated for the first time even two thousand years ago, grapewine has found here one of best habitats, being able to take advantage of the extraordinary soils and microclimates that have allowed, elapsing time, to create excellent and renowned worldwide wines. The travel-attitude and the ability to trade worldwide our goods, are the consequence of a tradition that has its roots in the Middle Ages. Even then the intrepid merchants of the Serenissima did know our famous wine production throughout the mediterranean Countries and in Europe, taking advantage by the dense network created from Venice and maritime possessions, that – in the period of maximum greatness – gave origin to a glorious and shiny empire. In this way came this indissoluble bond, today the more prosperous than ever, between the care for the territory, the wine production and its export in the world. Centuries later, taking advantage of the most modern and efficient methods of wine production, we like to retrace proudly the footsteps of our forefathers – that under St. Mark’s lion flag – they created the extraordinary – for us Venetians – reality nowadays worldwide celebrated, our wine.
The authentic Charm of the Superiore D.O.C.G. land
The area of D.O.C.G. is a favorable environment for growing grapewines, it extends into the hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene in a difficult-to-cultivate but fascinating territories. A landscape made up of an infinite grid of vineyards spread over steep slopes alternating with gentle hillsides, unusual views of small villages inhabited, composing a totally unique and impressive scenario. In these lands, shiny part of “joyous and loving Marca of Treviso” – everything smells of wine and tastes good – a centuries-old wine culture has redesigned the soul and the landscape of one of the most precious and enchanting areas of Italy. People here love their origins, maintaining the flavor of traditions, the warm hospitality and the pleasure of meeting, along with the pleasure for food and typical products. It’s a fascinating land – full of suggestions and artistic attractions, of surprises and proposals, often hidden, and almost kept as valuable – in the valleys or among the many hamlets and villages scattered here and there, and where it is pleasant to get lost in search of the ancient traces of human presence and of the strong culture of local population. The best way to do that is to be guided by the Strada del Prosecco and Wines of the Colli Conegliano Valdobbiadene, the oldest Italian wine route, which nowadays leads the visitor through three thematic routes, also to discover the many historical and artistic attractions of the area and the most prestigious cru. These are lands of ancient castles, aristocratic manors, ancient monuments, sacred buildings and ancient thermal springs. Conegliano, Vittorio Veneto, Valdobbiadene, Pieve di Soligo represent a small trove of natural, artistic and architectural treasures, to discover taking the intimate rhythms of territory that still knows living on a human scale into a respected nature. Meanwhile – around – the screws, with secular patience, waiting for the meeting with the sun and attend solemn alternation of the seasons, of colors, of flavors.
Candidacy as Unesco Heritage
A unique territory
In 2008 the project was started for the recognition of the hills of Conegliano Valdobbiadene Heritage Site. It is, in fact, a real cultural landscape where winemakers work helped creating a unique setting. The Conegliano-Valdobbiadene area covers a hilly area located 50 km from Venice and about 100 from the Dolomites mountains. Viticulture here has ancient origins but the first written mention that binds Prosecco in this area dates back to 1772. Since the introduction of D.O.C., in 1969, the historical production area has remained limited to 15 municipalities. Two of these give it its name: Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, one’s cultural capital and other productive heart. In particular geographical context of Conegliano Valdobbiadene, the slopes of the Alpine foothills, the bend in the river Piave, the work of people used the landscape and climatic quality aspects to create a special harmony and beauty habitats where human settlements embellish the characters natural. The UNESCO Convention identifies it as “natural landscape”, ie a site which originated from man and nature. In particular the hills of Prosecco Superiore belong to the second landscape category (II originally evolved landscape), that generated by a continuous process, which evolved in history, through which the local community and its artistic culture, technique and production have organized themselves into response to characteristics of the physical environment fragile and very special.
A unique microclimate
The position between the sea and the Alps ensures a temperate climate with an annual average of 12.3°C and a constant ventilation, which allows the grapes to dry quickly after rainfall. The area is characterized by frequent summer showers, with an average rainfall of 1250 mm. The hills stretch from east to west, so have a south-facing slope, where the vineyards enjoy the best sun exposure, and a slope to the north, normally occupied by forests. The altitude varies from 100 to 500 m and guarantees the thermal excursion causing it to develop the aromas. The Glera grape variety found in these hills an ideal environment for more than three centuries. Ama water but fears stagnation, and the slope of the hills ensures that the rain is always drained.
The soil composition
The soils of the Conegliano Valdobbiadene have a very ancient, dating back to the lifting of the marine and lake beds. Some of the hills has been remodeled from the glaciers of the Dolomites, which have led to various sediments downstream. The soils derived from it are deep, made of rock and sand conglomerates with much clay and sometimes iron. Where the glacier has not acted, they remained soil of marine origin, composed of marl and sandstone, shallower and more filtering. This results in a co-existence of many different types of soils but also a different conformation of the hills, gentler now, in the area of Conegliano, now steeper and fully exposed to the south in the Valdobbiadene. All combinations of slope, exposure and soils make each different micro-zone, as it turns out thanks to Rive types and Cartizze.
Man and Landscape
Man and scenery are modeled after each other: the vine grower worked the hills going along with the natural forms, embroidering the steep banks; the steep hills have forced rural families viticulture “heroic” made of manual skill and effort. Therefore we say that the Prosecco Superiore and handmade. The landscape and the result of unique geomorphological and climatic characteristics, particularly conducive to growing grapes, the work of man has partly modeled. Its particular forms have become combination of movements of the earth crust and geological structures, perpetratosi for millions of years. The phenomenon is called hogback, and has produced an extraordinary series of hills oriented parallel strings, the great effect that combined all human activity, it becomes unique.
The Wine Culture
The culture of wine and branches in the area for centuries. On the one hand, centers of excellence such as the Wine School and University Center, who are based in Conegliano, give a continuous drive for innovation and research, while the vintners handed down the secrets of the tradition from generation to generation.
Working the vinevard on the slope hill
There are at least 600 hours of work necessary for cultivating a vineyard in this area, four times the time required for a modern mechanized viticulture. This has meant that most of the companies were small, often family level. There are over 3000 in fact, the winemakers who guard the Conegliano Valdobbiadene.
The history of Prosecco in the Hills of Conegliano
The viticulture is widespread in Conegliano Valdobbiadene area since ancient ages. A funerary stele remembers the words of a Roman centurion, mentioning vendemmiales, celebrations on the occasion of the harvest. VI Century – Saint Venanzio Fortunato, bishop of Poitiers (530-607), describes as Valdobbiadene, his homeland, “the place where budding vines in the high mountains, where the lush greenery protects the most barren areas” XII Century – The twelfth-century fresco painted on the front of the church of San Pietro di Feletto depicts “Christ on Sunday.” The warning is clear: those who work on Sundays hurts Christ bleeding, surrounded by tools. Thanks to them we understand what were the typical work of these hills at that time, and it appears that viticulture already formed part of everyday life. 1574 – In 1574 the passage of Henri III, King of Poland who went to Paris to be crowned King of France, the Conegliano community gushed out for a whole day from the fountain of Neptune white wine of the hills. 1754 – Aureliano Acanti in his opera “Il Roccolo” cites the world “prosecco”. It is the first written time of the denomination: “And just now I want to sacrifice my beak / with that aromatic prosecco”. 1772 – The first written mention of its presence in the region dates back to 1772 in the eighth volume of Giornale d’Italia, where the academic Francesco Maria Malvolti speaks of the quality of local wine. 1876 – In 1876 was founded the Wine School of Conegliano, first of its kind in Italy. 1923 – Foundation of the Experimental Station of Viticulture and Oenology in Conegliano. 30’s – For the first time – You delineate the boundaries of the production of Prosecco. They correspond to the current edges of D.O.C.G. Conegliano Valdobbiadene. 1946 – Founding of Prosecco’s Brotherhood. June 7th, 1962 – Eleven producers constitute the Consortium of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene. 1966 – Established the Strada del Prosecco, the first Wine Road recognized in Italy. Here comes the recognition of Controlled Origin Denomination (D.O.C.) for the Prosecco produced in 15 municipalities of Conegliano Valdobbiadene. August 1st, 2009 – Conegliano – Valdobbiadene becomes the 44th D.O.C.G. Italy.
The Route of Prosecco
The new Route of Prosecco and Wines of the Colli Conegliano Valdobbiadene, founded in 2003, leads the visitor from uninterrupted vineyards, villages and towns where you can feel the taste of the centuries-old wine-making art of these lands, giving glimpses and authentic beauty landscapes and fascinating, together in medieval testimonies, hermitages, ancient churches, traces of civil and religious history of the rural people of here. Not to mention the opportunity to meet, in the many clubs scattered along the route, cuisine and local products. The Strada del Prosecco offers the possibility to choose the route closer to their feelings and predilections with one certainty: the lands of Prosecco Superiore D.O.C.G. really know reserving unexpected and pleasant surprises to the attentive visitor, behind every bend in the heart of a village in the vineyards, on top of a hill perhaps hidden from view. And perhaps it is precisely in this ability to astonish, that it is the deep magic of the territory of the Strada del Prosecco and of Conegliano Valdobbiadene hills. San Pietro di Feletto, with its precious Pieve of the XII century and its seventeenth-century Camaldolese hermitage, the castle of Collalto, Follina and its Cistercian Abbey, the ancient Lombard towers Credazzo to Col San Martino, the charming glimpse of the windlass Croda in Refrontolo, the picturesque rolling hills of Tarzo, Cozzuolo and Ogliano … are just some precious treasures to be discovered along this path of sublime beauty, art, history, ancient traditions and nature, authentic heritage of a land of which we consider ourselves proud guardians, interpreters and ambassadors. An excellent reason to enjoy a pleasant stroll along the way, to visit our estate and taste our wines.