Pramaggiore: an age-long wine tradition

28 September 2021

Venice, September 27, 2021- The time travel through the autumn of the 1600th year of Venice, started only a few days ago, has a stop into the ancient vineyard of the Serenissima, in the hearth of the D.O.C Lison-Pramaggiore area. Land of white and red wines, birthplace of “Pinot Grigio” and “Refosco dal Peduncolo”. Here, in the place where Venice, Treviso, and Pordenone blend one into the other, the gaze is lost amid the stretches of vineyards, which belonged to the Doges and that still today keep the long tradition, being one of the most productive at national level. 

A bucket, big scissors, heavy gloves, and a hat to shelter from the sun: these are the few things you need to hand harvest grapes between the endless fields whose vineyards cover the area of Pramaggiore, in the Lison area. Machine harvesting is something different, here modern devices replaced human labour. 

Located in a plain only a few kilometers far from the Venetian coastline, between the rivers Tagliamento and Livenza, the DOC Lison-Pramaggiore area witnesses the cultivation of vineyards ever since, while ensuring the unique character of local wines. The local climate is defined as temperate, because of the proximity of the sea and the presence of lagoon areas. The flat position also helps the vineyards have a right wind exposure. 

The soils are rich in minerals, especially in caranto (calcium carbonate), potassium, calcium, and magnesium, and are characterized by a balanced supply of organic matter and a good water reserve capacity. All these factors give birth to a good wine structure, good acid balance, and intense aromas of fresh fruits, and a strong personality. The designation takes its name from the Lison Roman Village and from the Village of Pramaggiore, as evidence of a local homegrown product which puts its roots already in Roman times. 

The one that is reaching the end will be a harvest beyond expectations. We are talking about quality over quantity, but the area of Lison-Pramaggiore, probably guarded in some way by the Serenissima Republic, again this year has not suffered the repercussions of hailstorms and will so be able to rely on a quite large quantity of good grapes and wine. 

Along the viticultural path, it happens to come across the gates of the wine company “Le Carline” in which, for over thirty years, organic wines have been produced, respecting nature and land.  The transformation process of grapes, from vineyards to barrels, happens without the use of any additional sulfite or adjuvant, according to the ancient wine-making culture. 

“Since its creation, our company has been a pioneer in the organic sector. Right here, in fact, the first organic-district “Bio Venezia” has born, counting today over 50 companies with 1500 hectares of bio cultivated products- says Daniele Piccinin, owner and winemaker of “Le Caorline”- the Piccinin family wine tradition is well-known and successful in Italy as well as abroad: from the bronze medal at the Decanter World Wine Awards, won in 2015, to the medals won in 2020 at the International Wine Contest in Brussels and the International Organic Wine Award”. Between clusters of bells dropping down into buckets and tractors delivering the product into the squeezing tanks, which ferments at 14 degrees in huge steel containers, there is almost no end to the work. While the whites ferment, it’s up to the reds. 

The wine-making business in the D.O.C Lison-Pramaggiore is made up of different local realities that come together to create IGT, DOC and DOCG wines. The agricultural company “Cantine”, located in Pramaggiore, is a case. In business for over 60 years, today it has about 200 members and it collects annually over 130 thousand quintals of grapes. 

“This is a wine cooperative where members bring their own product which is here weighed, checked and taken out from tractors- says Samuele Busatto, a real “deus ex machina” of the wine cooperative of Pramaggiore-. In this period, we receive from 4 to 5 quintals of white and red grapes per day, which are used to produce wines such as Prosecco, Pinot Grigio and Merlot. We start at 7AM, and the last load can get in here no later than 6PM. This is the real beating heart of the wine producing area of Pramaggiore. In the last years the demand has increased more and more, and this historic identifying mark, which comes to us from the city of Venice, is a pride that we carry inside”. 

In this Venetian small reality, quality and tradition run together handed down from generation to generation. The Pivetta winery has been proudly producing wines of excellence since the late ‘60s, among them Refosco, Merlot and Cabernet are the reds, Pinot Grigio, Tai and Chardonnay are the whites. 

“Hand-crafted production, from the harvest to the long fermentation, leads to a niche but high-quality product- say the Pivetta brothers- we talk to our vineyards, and we listen to them. We respect traditional methods, which were handed down to us by our grandparents and fathers, we bet on ourselves and especially on our D.O.C reds. This is a unique environment: the vines and their roots look for water almost by themselves. They never run dry, and if it's not raining there is no need to feed them water artificially”. 

They never run out of work in the Lison- Pramaggiore area, there’s still time before bottling up but the magical rites of the grape harvest stay the same, as in the days of the Serenissima Republic.