Collio and Dolegna: Some history

Before becoming the border between the Kingdom of Italy and the Austro-Hungarian Empire (1866), Jùdrio was the limit of the Kingdom of Lombardy-Veneto and the Earldom of Gorizia and acted as the frontier between the two parts, though separate, of the same State. The border itself was an adjustment (1818) to the border between the Venetian Republic and the Hapsburg empire. Only during the brief Napoleonic period (1811-1815) was Jùdrio replaced with Isonzo, representing, however, the border between the Department of Passariano and the Liliriche provinces. From 1947 to 2007, the upper part of the Jùdrio river marked the border between Italy and Slovenia while the lower part divided the provinces of Udine and Gorizia. But the work of man is ignored by nature, which impartially bestowed beauty on both sides. Mario Soldati, who arrived in these parts on one of his exploratory journeys in the search for authentic wines, found himself at the border crossing of Plessiva with his two simple stalls, said: “…this is one of the most beautiful, the most poetic frontiers that I have ever seen and, i think, it is possible to see.”

The territory of the municipality of Dolegna del Collio is mostly involved in the cultivation of vineyards, dotted with villages and castles, often perched on the summits of hills, a position that, in some cases, favoured defence against siege, judging by the remains that have survived. The identity of the fi rst inhabitants of this area is not known with certainty. The remains close to Trussio castle could perhaps be the remains of a settlement of the ancient civilisation of the Castellieri and it is probable, given the strategic importance of the Jùdrio valley, that it was settled thereafter by Proto-Venetians, Celtic-Karni, Romans and, at least fl eetingly, the various Germanic peoples known as “barbarians”.

The settlement of peoples of Slavonic stock was, on the contrary, quite stable, given that almost all the local names are of Slav origin and can be dated to the period between the VII and IX centuries. The area’s subsequent fate was bound to the relations, often in confl ict, between the Patriarch of Aquileia and the Earldom of Gorizia until the former was replaced (1420) by the Republic of Venice and the second (1500) passed to Austrian administration. The language commonly spoken today is Friulan but Slovene is also known to many “natives”. Nevertheless, it is clear that the imprint of all the Indo-European, Celtic, Italian, Germanic and Slavonic stock endures in this land and can be seen in the customs and traditions, especially culinary. The main road, starting at Brazzano, runs between the foot of the Colle di San Giorgio and the Jùdrio, giving the appearance of playing hide and seek with the peaceful watercourse - here coming closer, here moving away, gently copying the capricious meandering of the land. This has every right to call itself “The Wine Road”, continuously winding between a complicated patchwork of vineyards to all the places where the gifts of sun and land are abundant. Dolegna – which obviously has been a member from the start of the National ‘Città del Vino’ Association – nestles among the vineyards

The frontiers of taste in search of the culinary art in Dolegna and Collio

In the Friulian culinary art, various gastronomic specialities are found, derived (or inherited) from the cultural and historic contamination due to its geographic proximity to eastern, central and northern areas of Europe. By virtue of the particular location of our region, alongside traditional native preparations and dishes (such as bean soup, tripe in broth, steamed cod, salami with garlic and sausage or the “frico” a cheese crisp, “brovada” pickled turnip, “musetto” salami, omelettes with wild herbs, potato gnocchi), our region produces some dishes whose aroma and taste recall the echo of other cultures.

In Dolegna del Collio and its surroundings, the aforementioned dishes blend well with the mid-European cuisine, setting the seal on the unforgettable imprint left by Austro- Hungarian rule, marking the land forever. From the typical blend of sweet and savoury, which is hard to resist, come a series of recipes that can be tasted in exceptional dishes. In Dolegna, you will be able to sample them, ranging across an incredible variety of offers that enrich, above all, the spring, autumn and winter periods when the culinary mastery of the chefs draws on local popular traditions to create delicious meals prepared in the various premises scattered around the territory.

There are around twenty businesses, including agritourism, trattorias and restaurants in the hilly municipality that offer appealing menus to enable guests to enjoy delicious dishes of unrivalled taste, capable of evoking the traditions that have always seasoned the life of the people of this border area. It is possible to taste excellent starters like ‘jota’, soup made up of turnip, beans, potatoes, bacon rind and pork cutlets, milk and wheat fl our; ‘blecs’, that is, a special egg pasta obtained by mixing white fl our and buckwheat fl our, usually accompanied by hare, roebuck or boar sauce; not to mention the plum gnocchi, a special dough based on potatoes that are stuffed at the centre with half a stoned, dried plum: boiled and fl avoured with melted butter, cinnamon and breadcrumbs, truly delicious! Then the main courses: “marcundelis”, goulash, game in “pais” (a mixture of aromatic herbs, juniper, spices, wine and vinegar in which the meat of boar, hare, partridge, quail, roebuck, pheasant, woodcock and wild duck is left to marinade) and Praga ham baked in bread crust, herb omelettes and much more.

Pan-cooked potatoes, mash, Savoy cabbage, turnip and radicchio with pork scratching are just some of the many tasty trimmings you can fi nd to round off the more traditional dishes and are typical of the cuisine of this land. The desserts are worthy of a chapter all their own: alongside the well-known sweets (apple strudel, gubana and focaccia) there are simple and very popular desserts from the rural country tradition, such as rosada (a cream made with egg, sugar, milk and lemon peel, cooked in a bain marie and then served in various ways). Want to know where it is possible to enjoy all these heavenly gifts? In Dolegna, you are spoiled for choice: In the Ruttars district: the “Al Castello dell’Aquila d’Oro” restaurant, the “Al Rustico” restaurant, the “Crastin” Agritourism Farm.

In the Trussio districts: the “Al Ponte di Trussio” restaurant. In the Vencò district: “Vinnaerìa a Vencò” of Livon, the “Tiare” Agritourism Farm, the “S. Haelena” restaurant, “La Meridiana” Agritourism. In the Lonzano district: the “Fattoria da Ambrosi” restaurant, the “Al Pettirosso” inn. In the main district of Dolegna: the “Al Collio da Vinicio” restaurant, the “Sirch Firmina” restaurant and the “Frasca al Collio” restaurant in the Cerò/Petrus district. In the Scriò district: “Al Granatiere” Agritourism, the “Da Sgubin” restaurant, “Da Snidarcig” Agritourism. In the Mernico district: the “Al Cjant del Rusignul” restaurant, the “Antica Trattoria da Ferreghini” restaurant, the “Da Giovanna” restaurant. Enjoy your meal in Dolegna to all of you!

The largest bottle of friulian wine in the world

The largest bottle of Friulian wine in the world is a Collio DOC.
Record awarded at the end of October, 2010 by Guinness World Records in Dolegna del Collio (Go).

In October, 2010, during the sumptuous opening ceremony of Sapori in Cantina 2010, the exhibition dedicated to the Collio DOC wines of the territory of Dolegna, in “Piazza del Municipio”, the largest bottle of Friulian wine in the world, made with Friulian Collio DOC wine, the product of thirty of the best producers in the area, was presented to the public. The record was certifi ed on October 23rd, 2010 in Dolegna del Collio by Guinness World Records, the famous Irish organisation that registers the strangest and most bizarre records. To become the Largest Bottle of Wine in the World, the bottle, made in Dolegna del Collio, had to beat the previous record held by Kracher, a wine production company of Austria, which in 2005 produced a 490 litre bottle of its Grande Cuvee TBA NV No.7 2005, a cuvèe of Riesling and Chardonnay. Dolegna’s largest bottle of wine in the world, until the record is eventually beaten, can and does boast a unique feature of the Region: that of being the largest ever made – certainly – of Friulian DOC wine. This is a giant of 2 metres 60, with a diameter of 62 centimetres. It contains more than 510 litres of Friulian Collio DOC wine, certified at the time of the record, the most typical wine of the area. To get an idea of how big the bottle is, just think that it is the equivalent of around 680 normal 0.75 litre bottles of wine, and that there would be enough wine for more than 4,000 glasses.
The label shows a lively cellar scene and is a reproduction of a work by a local artist from Monfalcone, Aldo Bresanutti.