Veneto has always been a land of wine, from the Lagoon to the Dolomites no place is without vineyards. The ones dedicated to the production of Ai Palazzi wine include denominations that enhance the territories with special, unique characteristics.
Thorough research has gone on in a bid to reassume and valorise the characteristics of each vineyard, based on the zoning concept. Varieties and clones have been assessed in order to decide where to plant each individual variety we currently cultivate.
DOCG COLLI DI CONEGLIANO
A small denomination nestling in the hills of Conegliano and Vittorio Veneto, which became DOC in 1993 and DOCG in 2011. One of its promoters was Adriano Dal Bianco, who was determined to achieve recognition of the natural affinity of these hills for the production of still wines. Proof is recorded of the area’s long wine-growing tradition dating back to Roman times and in 1282 the ‘Conegliano Statutes’ documented the production of white wine. When the area came under the control of the Venetian Republic, the fame of its wines grew, becoming favourites with the Doge’s court, as the Ducal communications of 1431 and 1491 testify. These valuable accounts continue, from the visit to Conegliano of Emperor Charles V to the establishment of an Agricultural Academy in 1769, up to the foundation of the prestigious Wine School in 1876.
This historic legacy is rooted in tradition. The Colli di Conegliano Denomination, with no further qualification, is reserved for white wine made of Manzoni Bianco grapes (min. 30%), Pinot Blanc and/or Chardonnay (min. 30%); Sauvignon and/or Riesling grapes may be included, for no more than 10%.
Colli di Conegliano wine specified as red is reserved for wine made of varieties such as Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Marzemino and Merlot, in quantities of at least 10%. Up to a maximum of 20% of Incrocio Manzoni 2.15 and/or Refosco may be added.
This Denomination applies to the four hectares of Ai Palazzi vineyards in the Ogliano hills.
Ai Palazzi wines come from the hamlet of Ogliano in the Conegliano hills. The main characteristic is the soil, formed by the withdrawal of the Piave glacier, which, as it filled the valley and shaped the territory created substrates of this particular hill’s subsoil. The gentle, undulating slopes feature substrate deriving from Würm glacial deposits, Miocene blue lacustrine clay and layers of silt, sand and rock that produce highly complex soil.
DOC DELLE VENEZIE
The Venetian Republic played a decisive role in elevating winegrowing. Under the influence of the Serenissima, which lasted approximately four hundred years, production zones were gradually more precisely defined and valorised. Up to then, the market paid attention mostly to the colour of wine: all shades of red or white, and the variety involved. The Serenissima initiated the concept of origin and affinity, which little by little determined the choice of merchants and consumers.
The increasing demand for quality wines arriving predominantly from beyond the Alps compelled growers to pay more attention to the time for harvesting the grapes rather than storage methods and transport.
The nineteenth century saw the establishment of numerous study and research centres annexed to the most important universities and training schools in the Triveneto.
Nowadays the DOC delle Venezie Consortium is the guardian of the story and promotion of this territory, which unites Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Veneto and the autonomous province of Trento.
These territories share a similar cool, ventilated microclimate that results in a permanent concentration of acidity in the grapes. Big differences between nocturnal and daytime temperatures exalt the grapes’ aromatic profile. In addition, the territory was formed by numerous floods, which resulted in the waters and rivers depositing rough calcareous material, as well as gravel and sand.
All this has created a favourable state for the cultivation of a variety that includes Pinot Gris among its best expressions. Territory and variety are therefore united and together protected by the denomination PINOT GRIGIO DOC DELLE VENEZIE.
Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Veneto and the Autonomous Province of Trento are included in this Denomination, which mainly refers to still wines. Each territory has its own typical varieties that characterise every production zone and wine.
This large area is delimited to the north by the mountain chain of the Alps, which protects it from continental weather conditions, and extends to the sea. The Denomination is crossed by several important, constantly flowing rivers, the banks of which hosted agricultural activities in the past. The rivers and glaciers of this area have created almost homogeneous soil and substrates on all the land: the Alpine and hill section is distinguished by Mesozoic limestone or Dolomitic-limestone, often karstic in nature, whereas the high and mid plains feature alluvial deposits, mainly of water-borne gravel and sand. The low plain crossed by slow-moving rivers was formed by finer silt-clay sediments and organic material. The Alps and the Adriatic Sea act as a barrier that mitigates extreme summer and winter temperatures.
The name of the Denomination comes from the ‘Tre Venezie’ or ‘Le Venezie’, as the interregional territory was known during the dominion of the Venetian Republic and then under the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Serenissima regulated not only commercial activities, but also agricultural and territorial management, thereby influencing viticulture, which was distinguished by its typical wines. The Hapsburg dominion had a very important effect on the territory, greatly improving varieties and cultivation and multiplication techniques.
Nowadays the IGT Trevenezie Denomination is the first in Italy for overall volume of use and volumes exported, referring typically to red mono or bi varietal bordelaise wines, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, as well as blends of indigenous varieties. White wines include Chardonnay, Verduzzo and Garganega. All these varieties are used mainly for still wines.