VENDRAME VIGNIS DEL DOGE, a family-run business, is located in the heart of Friuli Venezia Giulia (province of Udine), precisely in a small but well known village: Passariano. The Vendrame family has been devoted to farming since many generations. In 1997 Elia, with the help of his sons Gino and Simone, established Vendrame Vignis del Doge. The firm with 50 hectares, half of them as vineyards, is right in the center of the renowned Doc Friuli Grave region that flourishes in the middle of a rich valley enclosed by the Pre-Alps, in the north, and the Adriatic sea, in the south.
These lands were culitivated by our family on behalf of the the last Doge of Venice as these were originally his lands, past down from generation to generation and tendered by us tennants on his behalf. The Doge would spend the summer months here at Villa Manin and when the Venetian Republic finally became part of the Kingdom of Italy, the lands were slowly sold to the tenants by the Doge’s decendants and whatever was not sold, appropriated by the region of Friuli Venezia & Giulia.
Over time due to one thing and other (dissolution of the Venetian Republic, two world wars ect), my family stopped botteling our wine but continued to plant vines, grow corn and maize and then my father, with much protest from my mother, decided that it was time to start vinifying our grapes and sell the wine to the local enoteche. This went on for a number of years until my brother and I decided it was time to make our mark in the world and our family once again started to bottle our wines first for sale here in Northen Italy and now to the world.
The designs of our labels were taken from the gardens of English nobility which were in turn inspired by the gardens of the English nobility of a bygone error. Unfortunatly the original gardens of Villa Manin have long dissapeared, destroyed by various conflicts that took place over the last 150 years. All that remains of these once glorious gardens are the original designs which can be seen in the Venetian archives along with other historical documents which mention my ancestors and our unique territory.
Our logo which includes the Doge’s hat or “Corno Dogale“ as it is known in Venetian dialect, has its own story to tell. If you look at the hat sideways, you will see that the design is the same as the masthead or “Ferro della Gondola” found on a Gondola with the upper part representing the Corno Dogale, the lower part in the form of a S representing Canale Grande and the teeth representing the six “sestieri” or zones of Venice. The Doge’s Corno Dogale dates back to the 1200’s although the first know reference can be traced to the Byzantine Empire. The name Vendrame Vignis Del Doge was created by combinding my families surname with VIGNIS which is the historic name given to the vineyards surrounding Villa Manin. Vignis derives from the Ladino meaning vines.