History of wine in Friuli Venezia Giulia
[Divider mode = “bold” align = “left” width = “100%” text_align = “left”] [/ divider] The origin of viticulture in Friuli has far origins: Friulian wines boast over two thousand years of documented history, from 180 BC when the Romans (Tito Livio tells about it, in his history of Rome) established the first colony in Aquileian land. A century later, in 53 BC, Giulio Cesare founded Forum Julii (called today Cividale, from which the name Friuli): his legionaries, transformed into peaceful colonists, give boost to viticulture in the sunny hills of the Colli Orientali.
Over the centuries, viticulture expanded over all the hills around Cividale, but, like any other economic activity, during the Middle Ages crossed difficult times, mostly linked to the tormented political events of these lands of frontier.
But also during those “dark ages” there are documents that show the importance and the presence of wine: in the “Pactum donationis” in 762 AC (during Longobard domination) is documented the commitment of “free growers” to give each year one hundred amphorae of wine to Povoletto Salt Monastery. At the end of the Middle Ages, Friulian wine (no longer in amphora, but in wooden barrels) was transported to the countries of northern Europe.
In the early centuries of the second millennium, to restore impetus to agriculture debilitated by barbarian invasions, the Patriarchs of Aquileia involved Benedictine monks. Among the numerous monasteries of that time, the abbey of Rosazzo assumed a driving role, and the specialized crops – vines and olive first of all – found their importance in the economy of the territory. After the Romans, the Lombards and the Patriarchal State, Friuli Orientale passed under the rule of the Serenissima Republic, which used Friulian wine for both trade and for its own need.