|Location||Veneto-San Polo di Piave (TV)|
|Organic certification||ICEA IT BIO 006 E1054|
|Vegan certification||ICEA 012VEG 03 19|
Since 1427, on the Giol estate, wine professionals have been handing down from one generation to the next experience, traditions and local culture related to wine making. The old winery is a highly evocative place: seemingly untouched by the passage of time, it is a strikingly impressive building, set against a backdrop of age-old wisteria and lime trees alongside a gurgling spring.
The great cellar
Protected by walls over a metre thick, the Great Cellar has provided the ideal environment for ageing fine wines since the days of the aristocratic Papadopoli family.
Viewed from the outside, it is a large two-storey building with impressive stone walls and a main facade featuring an entrance and ornately decorated window surrounds in local stone; the other two sides are characterized by river pebbles alternated with handmade bricks.
The ground floor features one of the most impressive and striking barrel ceilings found anywhere in northern Italy. The cellar houses 78 barrels of different sizes (the largest holding an incredible 26,000 litres) protected by more than 220 closely spaced beams that support the vast granary above. Upstairs, one can appreciate the remarkable dimensions of this huge open space: 78 metres long and 18 metres wide: here grain was dried and stored for centuries.
The roof is supported by a complex, imposing truss structure. During the First World War the whole area came under Austrian occupation and the castle and winery became a military garrison. During this time, whole wheels of cheese were hidden inside the barrels to prevent them being confiscated by the occupying forces, which explains the origin of a local cheese known as ubriaco, or ‘drunken cheese’. The presence of the troops is also documented by bullet marks still visible on several barrels: fortunately they were thick enough to withstand the gunfire and protect their precious contents.
The ageing vaults
These five vaults form the oldest part of the winery. They have always been used to store our finest wines and are still used today for ageing our Cabernet in small oak casks and as a striking setting for welcoming our visitors.
The vaults really are the ideal place for ageing fine wines: twenty 210-litre casks, four 500-litre casks and thirty-two 1200-litre barrels are protected by stone vaulted ceilings and walls over a metre thick which ensure a constant temperature all year round. Inside the vaults, you can sample our products and share our satisfaction at having preserved such a precious historical heritage.
In 1427, following the conquest of the mainland, the Venetian Republic rewarded its commander-in-chief Nicolò Mauruzzi da Tolentino for his outstanding service in battle by promising him San Polo di Piave (including its farm and small castle) upon completion of his term of office. Nicolò married Isotta, the daughter of Francesco Sforza, but then was killed in battle. The promised reward was presented to Cristoforo, his son legitimized by Pope Martin V, who wanted to repay Nicolò for services rendered as gonfalonier of the Holy Roman Church. Cristoforo also won the favour of the Venetian Republic, defending Verona and taking Padua from Marsiglio di Carrara.
In 1452 the Doge, Francesco Foscarini, awarded Cristoforo the fiefdom of San Polo (and other assets) sized from the patriarchate of Aquileia. After the death of Cristoforo, San Polo passed to the Gabriel family, who retained ownership until the fall of the Venetian Republic on 12th May 1797 and Napoleon’s subsequent abolition of the feudal system. The abolition lasted only a few months as the Emperor of Austria, on taking possession of the former Venetian Republic, reinstated the feudal system, upon which the property was returned to the Gabriel family.
A few days after the death of the childless Angelo Maria Gabriel, Austria withdrew from the Venetian territories, which thus reverted to Napoleon, who promptly abolished the feudal system yet again. The estate passed into the hands of the Vivante family and subsequently the Papadopoli family, who were its owners at the outbreak of the First World War. San Polo was occupied by the Austrians after the defeat at the Battle of Caporetto and the castle, along with the winery, became a military garrison. Evidence of battle is still visible on the walls and barrels today.
In 1919 the whole complex was purchased by Giovanni Giol, who had only recently returned from Mendoza in Argentina, where he had emigrated at a very young age. There he had built up a veritable empire and the largest winery in the world. Back in Italy, he purchased the whole complex owned by the Papadopoli family: the castle with its extensive grounds, the old winery and a vast expanse of land.
Today his great-granddaughter Luisa proudly continues to defend this paradise with the help of her son Vittorio. The goal of safeguarding and protecting this unrivalled historical, cultural and environmental heritage lives on.