The area located between the provinces of Venice and Treviso, in the Piave river basin, is full of vine cultivations, growing happily in the clay soil that is rich in mineral salts and well fertilised. Local soil conditions lend themselves to top quality, prized red wines.
This area extends through a broad plain bordered by the sea to the south, the hills of Conegliano and Montello to the northwest, and Friuli to the northeast, and is crossed by the Piave river. An anonymous writer in the late sixteenth century described this area ...« The Piave river is very convenient and useful to Venice, [...] this river can be navigated by boats from Ponte di Piave to Venice, bearing wheat, wine and other goods ».
"Burci" , large, slow boats that could navigate the channels, every day carried all sorts of goods, such as clothes scented with lye and bread to the "fónteghi" (storehouses) of the Serenissima Republic of Venice, making for rather hectic comings and goings along the waterway. The hinterland of Venice and the area around the town of Oderzo had been home to the stores of the Serenissima Republic of Venice since its origins, and this practical and economic relationship resulted in the "Veneto villas" being built. These were not merely for the enjoyment of the Venetian nobility but - and especially from the mid sixteenth century - they were used in an attempt to improve agriculture and make the land thrive. Therefore, it was not by chance that the people of the Piave river have for centuries been cultivating grapes for the "vineyards of Dogi", today producing a dozen or so wines of importance.
The D.O.C. white wines are: Piave Chardonnay, Piave Pinot bianco, Piave Pinot grigio, Piave Verduzzo and Piave Tai. The D.O.C. red wines are: Piave Cabernet, Piave Cabernet Sauvignon and Piave Merlot (all also as riserva), Piave Pinot nero and Piave Raboso. The latter, made by native Raboso grapevine, is ready for market after only three years of ageing, one of which in the barrel.
The territory has plenty of history and is linked by the Strada del Vino (Wine Road) extending for over 150 kilometres. Visitors are thus able to discover the different economic and cultural centres of importance, such as Roncade, Oderzo -the Roman Opitergium that was rebuilt many times - and Motta di Livenza. But what is certain to touch the tourist the most is the atmosphere on the left banks of the Piave, in the Raboso district, with its ancient traditions and its alleyways that tease the visitor with glimpses of the river, remote churches hiding precious frescos and the fine town of Portobuffolè.