The Dorigo winery was created in 1966 with the purchase of two vineyards, Ronc di Juri at Buttrio and Montsclapade, at Premariacco. These are ancient local place names, meaning the "Juri Vineyard", after the family that for generations cultivated the land before we arrived, and the "Split Mountain", because of the road that slices the summit in two.
The winemaking potential of the terrain was immediately obvious, as was the fact that viticultural practices in the Friuli of the day were inadequate for our ambitions. Thus it was that we began the task of renovating the vineyards, a project that led to the introduction into the region of a completely new approach to viticulture. We adopted very high density (10,000 plants per hectare) Guyot cordon training, using French-style "enjambeur" row-straddling tractors to work the vineyards.
As the quality of the fruit rose, the limitations of old-style Friulian winemaking became increasingly obvious. We established working relationships with some of Italy's most admired oenologists in order to understand how best to handle our grapes. This led to the introduction of barriques for maturing our great wines, the rediscovery of oak vats for fermenting our great reds, rush mats for raisining the grapes that go into our great sweet wines, and field selection of the fruit, followed by further selection on conveyor belts at the cellar, where expert hands discard every bunch that is not absolutely perfect. We even spray the grapes with carbon dioxide snow to chill them, and prevent the evaporation of precious aromas, when the berries are crushed.
We believe that, in more than three decades of work, we have understood that it takes quality-focused viticulture to produce superior fruit. And only a shrewdly judged mix of tradition, history, and high technology can transform that fruit in the cellar into a great wine.
No one is forced to drink wine. We uncork a bottle for our own gratification, to offer pleasure to our friends, or simply for the sheer excitement of discovering new aromas and flavours. Years ago, a friend confided to us that "wine is the food of the soul. It has to be good".
There is a message in Dorigo bottles. It tells of our love for the land and its fruits, the dedication of the people who work it, and their excitement when grapes are transformed into that most noble of beverages, wine.