The Ca' Bolani Estate is located in the heart of the Aquileia DOC, and also comprises the Molin di Ponte Estate (purchased in 1998 from the Lloyd Adriatico company) as well as that of Ca' Vescovo ( a former domain of the Patriarchs of Aquileia, which later - until the end of the 18th. century - became the property of the Convent of Benedictine nuns and then, during the Napoleonic period, of the Barone Economo (Lord High Treasurer) of Trieste, to whom we owe the Estate's current architectural layout; it was acquired by the Zonin family in the 1980s). With over 550 hectares (1,360 acres) of vines, Ca' Bolani is the Zonin family's largest holding and also represents the biggest vineyard area under single ownership in the whole of the Region of Friuli.
Formerly owned by the Bolani family, whose most important member was Count Domenico Bolani, Procurator of the Venetian Republic in Friuli during the first half of the 16th. century, the Estate was purchased in 1970 by the Zonin family, which has restored it to its former glory by reorganizing and replanting the vineyards, renovating the Estate buildings and constructing a state-of-the-art winery.
Lying 39 kilometers (24¼ miles) from the sea, Ca' Bolani's vineyards enjoy a continental climate, mitigated though by the breezes that blow in from the Grado lagoon. Average temperatures and heat summation hereare the same as those found in Europe's oldest wine-producing areas; indeed, Ca' Bolani lies within the so-called "Alpha" climatic zone, which also includes, for example, Bordeaux and Alsace. The soil is of alluvial origin and is a mixture of sand and clay, with some veins of gravel: it provides good natural drainage. Moreover, the stones that are present in the topsoil guarantee optimum ripening of the grapes thanks to their ability to reflect sunlight and to retain heat. The Molin di Ponte Estate merits a separate mention: it is also used by the members of Zonin's technical team for carrying out research on all of their innovative viticultural projects.
It is here, in fact, that the various varieties, bio-types and clones of grapes - as well as suitable rootstocks - are selected and experiments with high-density planting and extremely up-to-date training systems are carried out.
On average, the vines are 15-20 years old , but for the past 4 years a rapid changeover in training systems (in line with current international viticultural practice) has been taking place. In these last few years, 150 hectares (370 acres) of vineyard have been replanted, with a plant density of 5,000 vines per hectare (12,355 per acre), trained using both single and bilateral Cordon Spur systems. This type of vine training is now used in around 240 hectares (595 acres) of the Estate's vineyards, and ensures an excellent physiological balance in the vineyard, with a yield of 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs.) of grapes per vine, corresponding to a leaf area of 2.5 square meters (27 sq. ft.).
The most widely planted grape varieties here are Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso. This indigenous grape deserves a special mention: it has found an ideal habitat at the Ca' Bolani Estate in which to express its extraordinary potential to the full, and indeed it is no accident that around 40 hectares (100 acres) of the Estate's vineyards have been planted with Refosco. As far as white grape varieties are concerned, the most widely planted are Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Bianco, Chardonnay and Traminer. Sauvignon is, in particular, the white wine from the Ca' Bolani Estate that is enjoying the greatest success.
The Estate was purchased in 1970 by the Zonin family, who immediately set about restoring it to its former glory by reorganizing and replanting the vineyards, renovating the Estate buildings and constructing a state-of-the-art winery.The winery includes, among other features, a cryomaceration plant that is used regularly by the Estate's technicians in order to preserve the original scents of the grapes in the wines; pressurized tanks for the production of semi-sparkling wines; and the historic cellars in which the fine red wines that are the pride of the Friulian winemaking heritage mature in both large oak barrels and barriques.