Strada dei Vini DOC Lison – Pramaggiore
"Close to Venice and the beach... there's a sea of vineyards to navigate..."
The Lison – Pramaggiore DOC zone includes a large part of the territories of East Veneto municipalities, and reaches from coustal fields to the border with the Treviso and Pordenone regions. The zone was named after 'Borgo di Lison' and 'Pramaggiore', towns that along with Belfiore are at the center of the local wine production - especially Tocai - already active in Roman times and was further developed when Venice was a powerful republic with interests in Europe, Africa and Asia. Even today, the largest concentration of of wineries is around the "wine towns" of Pramaggiore, Portogruaro, Annone Veneto and St. Stino, or the Classic Zone, where the terroir is particularly rich of calcium and calcareous clay. The Denominazione d'Origine Controllata (DOC, or Denomination of Controlled Origins) is assigned to 14 vineyards cultivated in the area, which are promoted and protected by the Consortium of the Lison – Pramaggiore DOC Wines, thus guaranteeing the respect of the legal production standards.
Thanks to the joint commitment of the producers and the Consortium, the quality and fame of the Lison – Pramaggiore DOC wines is growing and gaining appreciation in Italy and overseas alike. These days the area is alive with numerous wine events and wine shows, and along the road there are wineries and vineyards as far as the eye can see.
The wine production
The area is among the most advanced in Italy and is constantly improving the quality of its wines. The widespread adoption of organic agriculture, which uses exclusively natural fertilizers, and the constant wine making and aging techniques research are the basis for ongoing improved quality. In many cases, when visiting a winery the in-house enologists or the owner will be on hand to illustrates the production techniques and specific wine characteristics.
- Pinot Grigio
- Pinot Bianco
- Tocai Italico or Lison
- Riesling Italico
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Cabernet Franc
- Cabernet Malbech
- Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso
In 1971, the "Lison" DOC zone was assigned to Tocai, the grape that made the area famous. In 1972, the DOC zone "Pramaggiore" was assigned to Merlot and Cabernet wines. In 1985, upon request from producers, the two zones are merged into the "Lison – Pramaggiore" DOC zone and the list of wines included is expanded with the introduction of Pinot Bianco, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Verduzzo, Riesling Italico, Sauvignon and Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso. Finally, on May 29, 2000 a decree later published in the Gazzetta Ufficiale (official magazine that introduces new national laws and provisions) n.138 issued on June 15, 2000 established the new production rules for the DOC Lison – Pramaggiore. At that time Malbech, Verduzzo dolce (sweet), as well as two blends, a Bianco (White) and a Rosso (Red), where added to the zone wine list.
The vineyards of the Dogi (leaders of the Venetian Marine Republic)
The Strada dei Vini DOC Lison – Pramaggiore, also known as the Strada dei Vini dei Dogi, or the "Dogi's Wine Road" had been active within the wine zone since 1986. The road winds through a very particular eno-cultural area passing through small towns, villages and vineyards of Western Veneto and Eastern Friuli regions. Since Roman times, the area has had commercial roads, such as the Via Postumia, which run from Genoa to Aquileia and via Annia, which joined the town of Altino. In addition, in times past the Lemene river was an important navigation and transportation route. The most important city of the time was Julia Concordia, located at the crossroad between the Postunia and Annia roads and known today as Concordia Saggitaria. Annone Veneto, another wine town, was on the Postumia way, and St. Stino was along the Annia. In the Middle Ages the cities of Aquileia and Sesto al Reghena, become the important centers and were inhabited by the ancient Lombards.
The Abbey of St. Maia in Sylvis, whose abbots ruled the towns of Cinto, Annone and Gruaro, still have a medieval, out-of-time feeling to them, as does the Cordovado castle. The historic center of Portogruaro, one of the most particular towns in the Veneto region, was established in the same period, as revealed by its City Hall, the porticos, the mills on the Lemene River and the museums. The cultural town life and the widespread love for music can be experienced here.
Along the Strada dei Vini dei Dogi one still see signs reading "stazioni di sosta", or "rest stop" bearing the "Leone di S. Marco", or St. Marcus' Lion" insignia. The sign indicates either Consorzio Tutela, or "Guardianship Consortium" associate producers who sell their wines to the public, or "Botteghe del Vino" ("Wine Stores"), that is restaurants, trattorias, bars and osterie that offer Lison – Pramaggiore DOC wines.
The Lison – Pramaggiore, DOC area is characterized by flat fields created in centuries of frost followed by floods generated by the liquefaction of ancient, retrieving glacier mountains.
During the Ice Age and ancient floods, the Tagliamento River acted as main agent in the topographic formation of the area. Because of the mountainous nature of the zone, small parts of calcareous clay were transported and deposited in what is today the main wine producing area.
In addition, the same fields reveal traces of substances derived from charcoal close to the surface. These fields confirm the well-known fact that terroir rich in calcium produces quality wines abundant with aromatic accents. The Lison – Pramaggiore DOC area weather is mild, because of its latitude, the proximity to the Mediterranean Sea, and the flatness which, consequently, exposes the vineyards to the action of the local winds.
In addition to wine ... milk!
Among the area typical products there are cheeses, especially the Montasio. Tn addition to DOC wines, the zone produces a D.O.P. (Denominazione d'Origine Protetta, or Protected Denomination of Origin) cheese. Together they make for an excellent regional snack. Other local cheeses include Montasio, Summaghella and Frico, among others).