Winemaking traditions in the Collio
For generations, Attems has been synonymous with winegrowing in the Collio. The Attems family has always held to the conviction that a wine’s quality and character derive from its local growing area.
Attems’ goal has always been to produce great wines that are the fullest expressions of the Collio zone, wines that are at the same time incomparably distinctive, innovative, and responsive to global demands for high-quality wines.
The centuries-long history of the Attems in Friuli begins in 1106, with the donation of land by the Bishop of Salzburg to Corrado Attems. The Attems archives, still preserved in the family residence in Lucinico, amply demonstrate the family’s consistent interest in viticulture.
The earliest documents, dating to 1506, record payments in wine for properties under cultivation in the communes of Gorizia, Cormons, and Lucinis, the last being an earlier term for today’s Lucinico. Later account books, dating to 1764, list wine production from “refosca” and “ribolla” grapes. Conte Douglas Attems was following a firmly-founded tradition, therefore, when he began producing wine, as early as 1935. He then modernised the estate in Lucinico and in 1964 founded the Consorzio dei Vini del Collio, of which he served as president until 1999. The production code specifies that only eight communes, either wholly or in part, comprise the Collio growing area: Gorizia, Capriva del Friuli, Cormòns, Dolegna del Collio, Farra d'Isonzo, Mossa, San Lorenzo Isontino, and San Floriano del Collio. Further, only hillside vineyards may receive the Collio designation. Such a rigorous sourcing ensures highest quality in the wines. The official production code, largely unchanged over the years, was approved definitively in 1968. In 2000, Attems decided to widen its horizons, and allied itself with one of Italy’s great wine dynasties, Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi.
Attems and Frescobaldi, two families united by centuries of winemaking experience, share in common the deeply-rooted conviction that quality and distinctiveness in a wine are the result of its local terroir. Sharing long years of friendship, Douglas Attems and the Frescobaldi are confident that their alliance will develop even further the potential of Collio wines, through renewal of the estate vineyards and through outreach to global fine-wine markets.
Following the passing of Conte Douglas, his daughter Virginia has now assumed the commitment to those principles.
Images Attems (Frescobaldi)