Land of good wine and delightful traditions

The Municipality stretches across two main valleys: that of Nimis, comprising the villages of Nimis, Torlano and, set on Mount Bernadia, Ramandolo and Chialminis, and that of Cergneu, comprising Cergneu and the hamlets of Vallemontana and Monteprato. The most important mountains, which form part of the Prealpi Giulie, are the Bernadia and the Plajul.

The Karst massif of Mount Bernadia has interesting geological features associated with the presence of elements such as the Villanova caves and the caves of Vigant and Pre-Oreak. Bernadia and Plajul are separated by the passage of the River Cornappo, which created forra del Cornappo, adding spectacularly beautiful aspects to the landscape. The town has Roman origins and its name, Nemus, the Latin for “wood”, is mentioned by Paolo Diacono as Nemas Castrum in Historia Langobardorum.

The territory of Nimis was crossed by the route of the path linking Forum Iulii (Cividale) with the consular road from Aquileia to Norico. This route gained strategic importance in the late mediaeval period, a time characterised by forts and the Nemas Castrum. Over the centuries, jurisdiction was handed over from the Counts of Nimis (until the 15th century), to those of Tricesimo, to the Antonini Counts (from 1648 until 1750) and lastly to the Zanchi-Locatelli Counts of Bergamo. During World War II, the town was burned down by the Germans and rebuilt according to the original plan. In 1964, archaeological digs were opened inside the church of Saints Gervasio and Protasio, during which the phases of the oldest church, dating back to the middle of the 6th century, were individuated. The existing church houses the remains of the baptistery, which dates back to 1100.

No less important, and of particular artistic and cultural interest, are the Church of St. Giorgio (4th- 6th century), the remains of a Longbard settlement found on the hills between Vallemontana and Torlano, the archaeological fi ndings discovered near the castle of Cergneu, the church of San Gervasio in Nimis and on Mount Zuccon, near the old church. In the hill area overlooking the town of Nimis we fi nd perhaps the oldest and most famous wine-growing subzone in Friuli: the Ramandolo cru, stretching to the hamlet of Sedilis of Tarcento which, with its vineyards situated at an altitude of 380 metres above sea level, reaches the maximum altitude for the cultivation of vines, in an enchantingly beautiful landscape.

On the slopes which are so steep as to impede any form of mechanised labour, the winegrowing techniques used are all traditional. The grape varieties cultivated are Verduzzo Friulano an autochthonous clone of Ramandolo, used, especially when harvested late or allowed to over ripen slightly, to make a very particular dessert wine: elegant, aromatic, with great body, not too sweet and with a touch of tannin: the Ramandolo. A wine which well represents the soul of its people: uncomplicated men, sometimes rough but always hospitable, generous and characterised by their antique culture, enamoured of their land. Made from one of the oldest grape varieties in Friuli and featured among the wines served to Pope Gregory XII during the council of 1409, and still a much loved and appreciated wine today.