The Collavini story began in 1896 at Rivignano. Founder Eugenio Collavini supplied wine to the noble families of Udine and to wine shops. The baton then passed to Giovanni, who worked through two World Wars at the end of which, as we know, trade boomed while the science of oenology also advanced, giving wines a quality hitherto unknown.
It was Giovanni’s son Manlio who noticed the first signs of major changes and indeed almost anticipated them. He was one of the first to take Friulian wines abroad. In 1966, the cellar moved to the Castello Zucco-Cuccanea in Corno di Rosazzo, built in 1560.
Manlio was one of the first to believe in Pinot Grigio fermented off the skins, as long ago as 1969, and in 1971, he created Il Grigio, a trend-setting sparkling wine, which was later joined by Ribolla Gialla Brut. Today, Collavini is a family-owned limited company managed by Manlio and his sons Giovanni, Luigi and Eugenio.
The villa of the noble Zucco di Cuccanea family, the current head office, is a fine example of a 16th-century fortified residence. The Torretta, the turret on the west-facing wall, was built for the purposes of defence and later became a point of observation from which to monitor the surrounding countryside, a marvellous panorama stretching across the hill country of Rosazzo, Ruttars and Cormons.
Leaving the villa and walking down an old Ribolla Gialla vineyard you reach the wine cellar, where the thousand-year-old farming tradition marries the modern technology.
Steady improvements in quality of the winery have been achieved in a number of ways, including vineyard management, harvesting by hand, sometimes in low-sided cases, and major technological innovation in the cellar. The best bunches are taken to the drying room, where low temperatures and ventilation coax from them a magnificent symphony of fragrances, imbuing the wines with savouriness, remarkable body and elegance on the palate.
These are the processes that have led to wines like our multiple award-winning Collio Bianco Broy. Our other area of innovation is sparkling winemaking, and in particular the development of what is known today as the “Metodo Collavini”; 42 months, from the harvest to the flute, for a sparkling wine considered a real Friuli’s excellence: the Ribolla Gialla Brut.