Paolo Rodaro is a man of great character. Proud of constituting the sixth generation of family farmers, he is at the same time owner, grapegrower and winemaker. Paolo is a man who has chosen to follow his own road of quality rather than the demands of the market, and he continues down unexplored paths. He is not an easy man, for he is marked by the strong character typical of Friulian farmer families, by an expansive curiosity and by an uncompromising self-criticism regarding his own products. He is ceaselessly striving to convey ever more character in his wines, confident in his instincts and intuitions, quite independently of any current trend, trying, by himself, those pathways that few others tread. He begins with the wines of the local tradition, distinguished by the flower on their label, but then he takes flight, with all his strength, towards the Romain reds made with naturally dried grapes; the Evoluto whites sur lie: the Classic Method Pas Dosé that well represent this unquiet spirit who can find serenity only in such new expressions of one of a kind wines or in one of those warm dinners with his closest friends, all sharing a glass of wine and frank laughter. He has increased the viticultural holdings, and he is supported by persons who love him. Assisted by his warm, radiant companion Lara Boldarino, he directs the winery, continuing to invest and experiment with new technologies in the vineyard and winecellar. His fellow workers are part of the family: Ljubo Stibilj has worked now for 26 years here, Francesco Conchione has been the administration for 16 years, and now his daughter Claudia Conchione is actively involved in hospitality and promotion.

It is indeed a fascinating story, that of the Rodaros: the dinasty’s origins date back to the 1500s, when Beniamin El Ruedar, the maker of wheels, was the first to pass on the family name to the future generations. Bertolo Rodaro can therefore be considered the patriarch of the family, which was already living in the territory of Cividale. His descendants were mostly tradesmen, craftsmen or farmers, but some members also became great scholars. Back in the late 1700s, the Rodaro family enjoyed a prominent social position, and because they owned a small farm, they were one of the few families in the area area that was free from the cruel bonds of the sharecropping tenancy system known as “mezzadria”. In the late 1800s, the metayage system or mezzadria was the most widespread form of land tenancy. The landowners would give their tenants, known as “mezzadri” their land to farm, and the crops would then be divided between the two. Since these farmers owned no land, the survival of their families was in the hands of their landlord. The first official document mentioning the family dates back to March 23rd, 1846.

 

 

It bears the stamp of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and states that the Rodaros were a family of farmers. This document is a gift deed describing the transfer of property of a piece of land from Paola, widow of Antonio Rodaro, to her step-son Giacomo Rodaro. In the late Nineteenth century Luigi Rodaro, great-grandfather of the present owner of the winery, became the manager of a farm near Cividale. In those days, the family only owned a few hectares of land, some silk worms, a few farm animals and some poultry. In the early 1900s, Paolo Rodaro, the grand-father of the current owner, together with his wife Caterina Zurco, set up an inn or Osteria in what used to be their home and is now the headquarters of the winery. Osteria Rodaro became a popular gathering place in Spessa for all the locals, who would go there to enjoy a simple meal of eggs, bread and cheese with milk, and a glass of Rodaro’s wine. In spring and summertime, the guests could relax outdoors, either bowling on the nearby lawn or playing cards at the tables set in the yard, trying to forget the horrible war that had taken so many young men of the area. In the following generation, Luigi and his brother Edo Rodaro were small farmer-businessmen, dealing in lumber in Venice, raising animals and growing trees, grapes and crops. Luigi Rodaro and his wife Norma Basso had three children, Caterina, Paolo and Mirella. Edo Rodaro and Dina Caporale had no offspring. The two families continued living in the same house and working together. On the death of Norma, Dina and her husband Edo lovingly raised their nieces and nephew as if they were their own children. From that moment on, the children had a “new mother,” Dina, and “two fathers,” the brothers Luigi and Edo. The Rodaros were a hard-working family, known for their tenacity and for their commitment to hard work. The years passed, and Paolo studied winemaking and worked in the family business–he was the future of that business. Today, he is its present. The family was a true benchmark among the farmers of the area, and they flourished thanks to their business ability and farsightedness, growing to possess 135 hectares of property, of whic 57 in vineyards.