This particular area of Friuli has known viticulture since ancient times: studies date it back to as early as 53 BC. The first vines were planted when the town of Forum Julii (the ancient Cividale del Friuli) was founded by Julius Caesar and his legionaries.
Even earlier, in 180 BC, Tito Livio testified the existence of vineyards in the first Roman colony in the countryside of the city of Aquileia. At the end of the Middle Ages, the wine produced on the hills of today’s Friuli had already crossed borders and was being used as a bargaining chip in the countries of Northern Europe.
From the Romans to the Lombards, from the Serenissima to the Napoleonic domination up to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, before reunification with the Kingdom of Italy, this area has known various powers and administrations, but the common thread of cultivation of vines and production of wine has never been broken, and twenty centuries of history has built a legacy of knowledge and tradition that has allowed today’s producers to bottle world class wine.
The quality of the Colli Orientali wines is the result of a particular terroir of Eocene origin, which is characterized by the alternation between layers of marl, a calcareous clay, and sandstone (a calcified sand): this soil is commonly called “ponc” here.
The marl is extraordinarily rich in minerals, while the sandstone allows optimal water drainage providing the salts and microelements that make these wines so special, rich in flavours and aroma, as well as creating an ideal condition for growth, maturation, and longevity of plants.
The climate in the area of Colli Orientali is ideal for viticulture. Not too cold in winter, the Julian Alps, located just north, shelter the vines from northerly airstreams and the Adriatic Sea, just south, guarantees a beneficial and constant ventilation.
The variable climatic conditions and particular terrain create a strong and unique identity in wines of this area.
These hills offer a variety of microclimates: depending on where vines are located, whether at the top of a hill in full sun exposure, or on gentle slopes, with milder exposure, or in valleys, where humidity is higher, ripening and harvest times are different.
The variable climatic conditions and particular terroir create a strong and unique identity in wines of this area: Petrucco wines are a perfect example of the finest production of the cru. Despite its limited area, the wines are wide-ranging, each reflecting a particular aspect of the cru.
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