Aviano essentials: 47 Anno Domini
“Shall we start with a caffè?” asks Igor Mazzarotto, with a welcoming grin.
Igor is the Cantina Manager at 47 Anno Domini, a winery in Treviso that’s clearly been humming for hours, despite our 9am arrival.
While he whips up three shots of espresso, I take in my surroundings. The tasting room we’re standing in is remarkable; high ceilings, modern architecture, plenty of natural light. Not to mention the shelves and shelves of wine bottles rising 12 or 15 feet up from the floor. A fitting choice of wallpaper.
As he slides the little cups across the bar, he jokes “It is not normal for me to serve a coffee here - this is a winery after all!”
And we’ll get to the wine eventually - all 27 different types of it, to be exact - but first, it’s time for a tour.
Glera grape harvest in-progress at 47 Anno Domini Vineyards.
Igor ushers us outside into the vineyards, where they are currently mid-harvest. A large tractor is roving up and down the rows of vines, shaking the branches and catching the berries as they fall. He explains this process in-detail, along with the history of the terrain and the impact of the winery’s certified-organic approach to farming.
We move from a plot of light green glera grapes (used for prosecco) to one of black-berried Raboso (for the local wine of the same name) to vines of Cabernet Sauvignon. Each time, Igor plucks a leaf and carries it with him. He explains:
“Before there is wine, there is the grape. Before the grape, there is the plant. I take these leaves because it is something I love - every vine has a different form, every grape matures at a different time.” He gently holds up his little collection and proves his point - each leaf is different.
Understanding the art of viticulture at 47 Anno Domini Vineyards.
“The first year I worked here, I saw something strange. It was July, and then August. Every day at five o’clock in the afternoon the owner would come here, park the auto and go into the middle of the vines. Ten, twenty minutes go by. After so many days I said to him ‘Sorry, but, what are you doing?’ He replied ‘I am the owner. In this moment, the vines need my presence. Because if they know that I am here, they are sure. And they will give me the best quality.’”
Listening to this anecdote and looking back towards the winery, the two seem a bit at odds. The structure is polished and cutting-edge, yet it was built by a man who believes that spending quality time with his plants will make the wine better? How exactly does that work?
With each subsequent phase of the tour, I see more and more examples of these contrasting ideologies. 47 Anno Domini might have the most modern winemaking facilities, but they still place great value on a particular warm wind that blows up from the Venetian lagoon. And while they may have stepped decades back in time to resurface a technique of aging red wine in cement, they were also the first Italian winery to accept bitcoin.
As I swirl my glass of Pinot Grigio (at the behest of head winemaker Franco; it’s his wife’s favorite) and admire the huge chandeliers that Igor says are made from repurposed wooden barrel forms, I understand. It’s not a contrast; it’s a balance. Between the people and the plants, between the past and the future.
A visit to 47 Anno Domini will find you standing at the intersection of the traditions that Batista Tombacco followed upon founding the winery a hundred years ago, and the innovative thinking that will help his grandchildren and great-grandchildren succeed for the next hundred.
The unmistakable cement bottle of Le Argille Cabernet di Cabernet.
Be sure to sample….
It’s true that Anno Domini produces 27 different wines, and you should of course sample whichever styles suite your fancy, but here are a few others to consider:
1. Le Argille Cabernet di Cabernet - Aka, the wine in the concrete bottle! It is an award-winning red blend of 50% Cabernet Franc and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon that is aged in concrete vats (instead of, say, wooden barrels).
2. Cabernet Franc - This grape’s popularity in northeastern Italy is a happy accident. Around 100 years ago an insect epidemic wiped out most of Italy’s vines, so to rebuild vineyards, they brought in rootstock from other countries. The winery owners from this region bought new vines from France, thinking they were Cabernet Sauvignon. Instead, unbeknownst to the Italians, the only ones that arrived were Cabernet Franc. So they took the vines, planted them, and for 90+ years have been drinking Cabernet Franc. And if you drink something for 90+ years, it becomes your taste, so now, they love Cabernet Franc! In fact, this is the only area where you can find a pour of 100% Cabernet Franc; normally you find it mixed with it’s rounder counterpart, the originally-intended Cabernet Sauvignon.
3. Bio/Vegan Prosecco Frizzante - 47 Anno Domini produces a dozen sparkling wines, but try this one if you’ve never tried frizzante prosecco before. It’s slightly less bubbly than a standard spumante prosecco.
Arranging your visit:
47 Anno Domini is located 45 minutes south of Aviano and 1 hour east of Vicenza at Via Treviso Mare, 2, 31056. It is just outside of Treviso, which would be an excellent place to stop for a meal/some sightseeing before or after. There is also a mozzarella farm across the street if you need some fresh cheese!
- Monday to Friday: 8.30am - 12.30pm, 2:00pm - 6:00pm
- Saturday: Upon Request
All images by Allison Keener of Keener. Collective.
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