The Avio Cantina manages a large territory between the municipality of Avio and the municipality of Rivoli Veronese, sitting between the Province of Trento and Verona. The territory extends along the Adige River, embracing an area known as the "Land of the Fortresses" enclosed, to the north, by the Sabbionara d’Avio Castle, and to the south, by the eight fortifications of Rivoli, and delineated laterally by Monte Baldo and the Lessinia plateau.
The Adige Valley, a borderland, has a history that is intricate and marked by deeply rooted discontinuities.
The territory's current shape is the result of the action of the great Pleistocene glaciers, resulting in moraine deposits, and due also to river erosion and the one produced by the lateral slopes with the accumulation of calcareous-clay materials, making it particularly suitable for the cultivation of vineyards.
This natural configuration, over the course of ages, has contributed to the communication among the Alpine slopes, which occurred thanks to the navigation on the Adige River, up to the 19th century, and the constitution of roman-era Via Claudia Augusta that united the Po Valley and the Adriatic to Tyrol and Germany.
This Roman road is still used today and provides views of the surrounding countryside.
The first human evidence dates back to the Mesolithic: in fact in the Riparo Soman (shelter), located between Dolcè and Ceraino, the burial of a woman from 14,000 years ago was recovered.
The Neolithic age is evident in the Rivoli Rocca site, where traces of a settlement from the fifth millennium BC were found.
The first records of wine production date back to Roman times (Cato the Elder, 234-149 BC) and praised "Rhaetian" wine produced by the population of the same name. Other sources* indicate as cultivation area the aquifers of the Reti area, that is the Venetian-Trentino Pre-alps and a portion of the Brescia ones.
In the first century AD, Pliny the Elder in Naturalis Historia, speaking of wild vines grown north of Verona, wrote of a "...grapevines called Enantio", the same that is today valued and marked D.O.C. “Terradeiforti – Valdadige”.
From the roman era there is also the great Villa of Servasa in Brentino, in operation between the first and sixth century AD; it is assumed that this building was used as a resting stop for travelers on the Roman road, in addition to being a place where to change horses and for mail exchange.
In the medieval times, the valley was initially dominated by the Lombard Duke and the Count of Trento. From the thirteenth to the fifteenth century, the valley was fief to the noble Castelbarco family, of which the most tangible evidence is the castle that stands in Sabbionara, and disputed among the Prince-Bishop of Trento and the Bishop of Verona, where they established their root of power in the Pieve di Avio area, between the eighth and tenth century.
The population was required to pay tithes to the parishes and to provide services to the castle, but in the fifteenth century with the advent of Venetian sovereignty and the statutes of the Vicariatel, the agricultural change began, which probably led to the first land reclamations, with the increase of crops, including and in particular wine making.
In 1425 there were records of a tavern opened in the houses below Mama d'Avio, and records of the unit of measurement to sell wine and grapes, and of claims of damages from those who were found on the lands and vineyards of others.
In 1786 Avio was annexed to the Austrian Empire, resolving the dispute over the control of the Pieve area in favor of the Prince-Bishop of Trento. From this moment on the territory was divided and took "different" roads, and in borghetto on the Adige river, up until 1918, was the border with the Kingdom of Italy.
In the Verona area of the valley there are the municipalities of Brentino-Belluno, Dolcè and Rivoli Veronese.
As one travels along the Provincial Road 11, the village of Brentino is reached, which in Venetian times was the seat of another Vicariate together with the current villages of Rivalta and Preabocco.
Preabocco is a characteristic medieval village distinguished by its narrow streets, enclosed courtyards and stone houses. Most of the houses date back to the fifteenth - sixteenth century. Worth mentioning is the northernmost building, known as the "Palace", where one can admire the remnants of painted decorations. In the small downtown there is the twelfth century Romanesque church of Santa Maria delle Grazie.
The town is dominated by the Madonna della Corona Sanctuary and the Castle of Corvara ruins.
The sanctuary was built on a rocky ledge 774 meters above sea level, and can be reached thanks to a steep path that winds around the Vajo dell'Orsa.
The first church was inaugurated in 1530, after the visit of the bishop Giberti. In 1625 it became sanctuary and rebuilt in 1680 by the Knights of Malta.
The Castle of Corvara was part of the Castelbarco fief, which was then passed to the Scaligeri and the Venetians. It could control the passage of goods and travelers. The castle is mentioned in a document of the fourteenth century and has gone through changes from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century. A drawing kept in the Municipal Library of Verona shows it with a turret, walls, gates, and a landing for rafts. It was in use until the late eighteenth century: its end coincided with the abandonment of the Adige river navigation route, a means of communication, and with the decline of the Serenissima in 1797.
On the opposite bank of the river, in the municipality of Dolcè, in Volargne, Villa Bel Bene is well worth a visit. The building, built between the fifteenth and sixteenth century, is a precious example of residential architecture of the Venetian Renaissance. Fourteenth-century frescoes decorate the loggia, the stairs, the central hall and certain rooms.
Of particular landscape interest is the Chiusa di Ceraino (Ceraino Sluice). It signals the main border between the Valpolicella area and the Adige Valley. In this tract, the river forms a spectacular gorge.
At the end of the sluice, in the Gaium area, there is a small church of St.Micheal. From medieval times, it was rebuilt in 1562 and also after the Second World War.
Next to the sluice stands the Ceraino Fortress, which is part of a defensive system comprising 8 fortresses built by Austrians and Italians. The most spectacular one is the Rivoli Fortress on the hill where it stands a fortification existed since the year 1100. Now the fortress hosts a museum on the First World War.
The town of Rivoli Veronese has always played an important role due to its strategic position and this is proven by the fortresses built since the seventh century to defend against the Francs, in the thirteenth century against Federico Barbarossa and the Lanzichenecchi since 1526.
This area is particularly famous for the battle of Rivoli in 1797, when Napoleon's troops entered Italy and faced the Austrian army; Napoleon, to celebrate victory, erected an impressive monument consisting of a column that reached 20 meters in height. It was demolished by the Austrians in 1814. Today, in the Canale plain there is a mausoleum that hosts the remains of the fallen warriors. The center of Rivoli hosts the Napoleonic and Risorgimento museum, which boasts a precious collection of ancient weapons, uniforms and documents. In 1848, some of the Piedmont army divisions fought victoriously against the Austrian troops of marshal Radetzky.
Finally, on the hills of the morainic amphitheater, it is still possible to find traces of the trenches that the Italians built during the First World War.
The entire valley is crossed by biking paths for all to ride and that boast slight ups and downs along the river and running through villages and vineyards.
Nowadays, the grapevine growing areas are numerous and extend along the Adige River, on the slopes of Monte Baldo and on the gentle and warm morainic hills of Garda, so as a multitude of microclimates and various altitudes enhance the grapes of our wine-grower members, who with great passion, every year, harvest them for our two production wineries.
WHAT TO VISIT
• Sabbionara d'Avio Castle
• House of the Vicar in Avio
• Claudia Augusta Street
• Church of Santa Maria Assunta in Avio
• Pieve di Avio
• Busa de Preeri
• San Leonardo Estate
• Preabocco village
• Villa Servasa in Brentino
• Madonna della Corona Shrine
• Botanical gardens of Monte Baldo
• Observatory of Monte Baldo
• Villa Del Bene in Volargne
• Chiusa Veneta Fortress, Rivoli (Walter Rama museum), Ceraino, S. Marco, Monte, Cimo Grande, di Naole, Masua and Batteria Alta
• Battle of Rivoli Commemorative Monument
• Napoleonic Museum in Rivoli Veronese
• Church of San Michele in Gaium di Rivoli Veronese