The Piave Wine Route
The Piave Wine Route is full of art and history, sight-seeing opportunities, and food and wine culture. It is, above all, the route of the great wines of the Marca Trevigiana. It stretches from the Castle of Conegliano to the wide fertile plain with the Piave river running through it.
Mareno di Piave is one of the capitals of Raboso wine; it sits on the left bank.
The XIV-century frescoes in the church of San Pietro al Bosco reveal that, in addition to the red wine produced at the time, the table for the last supper also offered shrimps and white wine; the same can be seen in the church of San Giorgio in San Polo di Piave. Then there is Vazzola, whose altar-pieces and frescoes make it a little treasure chest of art.
While visiting this area, which has always been famous for its wine-growing traditions, it is worth stopping in Tezze where a pioneering viticulture system was created in the vast vineyards of the Bellussi family in the first half of the last century. This is the birthplace of "Bellussi-style" vineyards.
The Wine Route goes through the medieval village of Portobuffolè and on to Oderzo which is famous for its excellent agriculture. It then joins the Postumia main road and goes to Motta di Livenza, one of the "capitals" of wine in the Treviso area. The area around Motta has particularly importance as far as vine-growing is concerned. In the first half of the last century, this was the point where the Raboso Piave growing area met up with that of Raboso Veronese, which was cultivated in the territory stretching to San Donà di Piave in the province of Venice. This is where Verduzzo and Malbech were grown for the first time. The Route continues through Chiarano and Cessalto, passing near numerous Veneto villas, including Villa Donegal designed by Palladio. Then on through the territory of Salgareda, one of the finest wine-producing areas of the Italian plain; together with the district called Campo di Pietra, it is the heart of the Piave DOC zone, especially as far as Raboso is concerned.
Having crossed the river, the Route turns towards Zenson di Piave, Monastier and Roncade.
Thanks to the fine agricultural traditions of the Benedictine monks, Monastier was one of the most important wine-producing areas around Treviso in the X century. Then on to S. Biagio di Callalta, Breda di Piave and Maserdada sul Piave. To reach Cimadolmo, the route goes through the Grave di Papadopoli, an area of 750 hectares in the embrace of the two arms of the Piave, forming a kind of island. This area was first farmed in the early 20th century and now produces excellent vines and unique food products, such as the renowned Cimadolmo asparagus, which have made this area justly famous.
The Route descends to San Polo di Piave, another dynamic winemaking centre in Piave, especially for Raboso. The little town boasts the church of San Giorgio which was probably built around the VIII century, during the Lombard era, and later enlarged. The interior has a rich cycle of frescoes which includes a Last Supper by an anonymous artist who, however, dated his work: 1466. The fresco shows a table spread with freshwater shrimps, freshwater fish, lots of red wine and a bottle of white wine, which are still specialities of this region as they were in the XV century.
Nearby is Tempio di Ormelle with the monumental church of the Knights Templar. It was in fact built by the Knights of Malta; the building dates from the XII-XIII centuries. The church nestles among and is almost hidden by a vast expanse of vineyards.
After San Polo the Route continues to Santa Lucia di Piave, famous for its centuries-old food fair which has become a fully-fledged point of reference for local speciality products.
Lastly, to the west and close to the hills, is the Castle of San Salvatore di Susegana, and to the north the town and castle of Conegliano.