Vineyard & Winery
Friuli-Venezia Giulia is a region in northeastern Italy bordering Austria, Slovenia and Veneto, extending from the Adriatic Sea to the Alps.
It possesses historical sites of immense fascination and pristine, gorgeous landscapes that are almost unknown to the mass tourism. A secret garden, waiting to be discovered. The visitors eye lingers on the steps and terraces as they rise above the woods to touch the sky before drifting back down to where the vine filled rows dominate the view. A landscape sculpted by men who, with great respect, have shaped and styled these hills. Their simple weaved lines designed to bear one of the greatest gifts of mother earth – the fruit of the vine. The classified zone of Friuli Colli Orientali is located both 50 km from the Alps to the North and 50 km from the Adriatic Sea to the south. Here the hills ripple sinuously, a mere breath away from the border with Slovenia.
Composed of eocenic marl and clay, a unique soil composition known locally as ‘Ponca’ or ‘Flysch’, these hills represent a profound wealth for a land that has been dedicated to the cultivation of vines since Roman times. With such a privileged location, aspect and microclimate, these hills are considered by RODARO as a true gift of Nature. The centre of the Rodaro winery’s activity is located in Spessa, just a few kilometres south of Cividale del Friuli, which since 2011 has become a protected UNESCO World Heritage site.
Some of our vineyards are situated on the gentle slopes and plains just below the Prealps and are principally dedicated to the winery’s research and development. Of the estates 135 hectares, 57 hectares are dedicated to vine cultivation, of which half are planted with white grape varieties and the other half with red grape varieties. As in times past, with the hills elevation from 130 – 180 metres above sea level, the grape harvest is carried out by hand, bunch by bunch. The production of all our native and international varietal wines is classified according to both the DOP (Denominazione di Origine Protetta) requirements and in the case of our PICOLIT, it is according to the ultimate DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) requirements. With some of the best terraced locations in the Colli Orientali, the vineyards are planted with an average density of 5,000-6,000 vines per hectare. The cultivation systems employed are the traditional Guyot and Cappuccina systems, which are pruned to 6-8 buds per vine. The average fruit yield per hectare is 60-70 quintals, producing on average annual a total of 250,000 bottles of wine, favouring as we do Quality over Quantity. Naturally, each grape variety has its own characteristic behaviour, so these figures act as a general indication, if one thinks, for example, that our Picolit has an average yield per hectare of less than 40 quintals. Paolo Rodaro is constantly seeking to improve the production of Friuli’s native grape varieties. One of his principal objectives is to work on how to encourage the best out of these vines, which by their nature are complex and challenging to grow. Of the native white varieties, we are referring to the Friulano, Ribolla Gialla and Malvasia. While for the native reds, we’re speaking about the Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso, Schioppettino and Pignolo. Of our very rare, sweet wines produced from native grapes, we are referring to the truly noble Picolit and the idiosyncratic beauty of Verduzzo Friulano.