The Collio, the first area of Friuli Venezia Giulia to obtain the “Denominazione di Origine Controllata” (Controlled Origin Denomination), is nestled between the Isonzo river, the Judrio river and the crown of the Julian Alps. The quality of the wines produced is the consequence of a perfect microclimate for the development of viticulture: a mild and temperate climate, thanks to the presence of slopes that develop almost continuously, presenting large surfaces facing south. Moreover, the proximity of the Prealpi Giulie constitutes a shelter from the cold winds, while the proximity of the Adriatic coast favors the summer thermal excursions.
Appreciated in the past not only for its wines, but also for its fruit and olive oil, theater of fights during the Great War and crossed by a border after the Second World War, Collio has never surrendered. Indeed, in 1964 it was one of the first wine consortia to be established in Italy, and the first one in Friuli Venezia Giulia. His name is everywhere synonymous of high quality white wines.
In this territory are cultivated the vineyards of Gradis’ciutta winery, located in different plots of land and at different altitudes: this allows the cultivation of soils suitable for all white varieties, whether they are the indigenous ones always present, Ribolla and Friulano, or the international ones, as well as red berried varieties and the ones which prefer the Preval plain.
The local name given to the soil of Collio is “Opoca” or “Ponca” and it is made of siliceous marls and clayey marls, sometimes even sterile, in which, however, autochthonous vines grow very well, giving their best. But also other grapes of French origin (Sauvignon, Pinot etc.) proved to be very suitable for such soils, since the experiments done at the end of the 1800’s.
Ponca is the real secret of Collio’s wines, perfect for the high rainfall of the territory thanks to its great drainage capacity, it keeps inside small quantities of water, extremely enriched by the minerality of the soil, which are fundamental in case of droughts or particularly high temperatures. It is not by chance, therefore, that the DOC disciplinary states that in order to certify wines, they must exclusively come from the hills (above 50 meters above sea level), as only here can be found this unique and special soil.
Robert Princic is deeply connected to Collio: besides being the land where he was born and where he established his winery, for six years he also served as president of Consorzio di tutela vini Collio.