COLLI GORIZIA WINE ZONE
The Collio Goriziano is the 4th largest DOC in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia in terms of areas planted. It is also the 4th leading producer in terms of volume, trailing the Friuli Grave, Isonzo and Colli Orientali del Friuli region in production. Over 85% of the Collio production is in white wine grape varieties. While still low in comparison to the rest of Italy, the yields in the Collio Goriziano are higher than the 3.5 tons an acre average of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia. In the Collio, the yields average around 4.4 tons/acre (77 hectolitres/ hectare) though some quality conscious producers have lower yields. Winemaker Mario Schiopetto was one of the first to incorporate German winemaking techniques like cold fermentation to white wine production in the Collio Goriziano. Today, winemaking on the region is very technologically advance with refrigerated fermentation tanks, pneumatic wine presses, and centrifugation bottling systems. The objective of most Gorizian Hills winemakers is to maximize the fresh fruit and pure varietal characteristic of the grape. To that extent, oak influence is not widely used in this region though some winemaking are experimenting with its use and different blends of grape varieties to produce more complex wine.
The Gorizia Hills (Collio; or Brda) is a hilly microregion in the Friuli Venezia Region of northeastern Italy. It lies on the right bank of the Soča (Isonzo) river, north and west of the Italian town of Gorizia, after which it is named. The region has around 120 square kilometres and 7,000 inhabitants, mostly ethnic Slovenes, with a small number of Friulian speakers in its westernmost part (in the municipality of Dolegna del Collio). Today, the majority of the region is in Slovenia, with around 60% of the territory and 80% of the inhabitants. The Slovene part of the Gorizia Hills lies entirely in the Municipality of Brda. The Italian part lies within the boundaries of the Province of Gorizia, and it's divided among the municipalities of San Floriano del Collio, Cormons and Dolegna del Collio. The region is predominately a white wine producer with Friulano, Ribolla Gialla, Malvasia Istriana, Chardonnay, Pinot bianco, Pinot grigio and Sauvignon blanc being the leading varietals. Red wine is produced under the Collio Rosso designation and is usually a blend of Merlot, Cabernet franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. In Italy, the Gorizia Hills are designated Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) and belong to the Italian wine region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia. The DOC is located in the province of Gorizia near the border with Slovenia. Some Slovene wine from the region of Brda also carry the designation of Collio due to their vineyards overlapping across the Italian border.
Along the wine route there are many places that reminds visitors of the cruel remains of the First World War, for instance the ossuary of Oslavia which hosts the bodies of sixty thousand fallen. There is also pleasant landscape offered by the hills overlooking the whole plain around the Isonzo river, i.e. San Floriano, Spessa, Còrmons, Ruttars, where the ancient nobility built their castles, towers and manors. The Collio invites its visitors to bike or walk along country roads and paths, enjoy nature, relax and stop for a holiday in its woods and parks. All characterized by a perfect landscape of vineyards as well as by good wine and food from its wine cellars and agriturismo (farms serving local dishes).