Abbey of Rosazzo
Kathy and Terry Sullivan
Summary: Abbey of Rosazzo (Rose) is the site of vineyards, winery, church, conference, and lodging areas. The perimeter of the facility is ringed with a variety of old and modern roses. The winery has one of the oldest wine cellars in the region. Large, colorful frescoes are an inspiration.
Today the Abbey of Rosazzo includes a vineyard, winery, wine cellar, church, conference area and 14 rooms for overnight lodging. The large, white Abbey is centered around a courtyard with a well in the center. The Abbey is known for the roses that encompass the site. Old rose varieties include gallica, alba, damask, centifolia, noisette, bourbon, China, and wichurana.
A visit to the Abbey offers views of rolling hills covered with vineyards and mountains beyond. Close to the Abbey statues of angels “guard” the building.
Abbey of Rosazzo is considered a hospitality center where rooms are available for meetings and religious activities. Several rooms are for staying the night. On Sundays Mass is celebrated at 18.00.
Rosazzo (Rose) Abbey has a long history. The origins of the abbey were not recorded. However the tranquility and peace of the area attracted the faithful. In 1070, a church built in the Romanesque style was dedicated to St. Peter. The Abbey began as a monastery and then became an abbey. The first religious order at the Abbey was the Augustines. Eventually Benedictine monks lived there. The wine cellar, is the oldest in the region, dates back to the 13th century during the time of the Benedictine monks stay.
The Dominicans settled into the Abbey in the 15th and 16th centuries. After the Dominicans left, the Abbey became the summer residence of the Bishop of Udine in 1823. The Abbey was under the protection of the Holy Father in Rome.
During times of war the Abbey was between areas at war. The Abbey was a stronghold. When the faithful left, the Benedictines left.
The church is dedicated to St. Peter the Apostle. It is believed to have been built in 1000s. Large frescoes decorate much of the Abbey. The stone walls contrast with the wood beams of the ceiling. The wood ceiling is painted with alternating white and sienna colored squares with a design in the center. The grays of the stones and browns of the woods tend to draw the eyes to the beautiful frescos.
Inside the wine cellar, small candles light the way over a cobblestone floor of this old cellar. Barriques line the sides of the walls lit only by the glow of candles spaced at three barrels interval. The cellar is dark and damp, perfect conditions for aging wine.
According to documents, the Benedictines were responsible for bringing the knowledge of viticulture to the area. The importance of vineyards can be seen in this statement from 1341, "The Patriarch Bertrando has threatened the excommunication of several people, who after having occupied a wood belonging to the Abbey of Rosazzo did not want to plant vines."
The vineyards flow downhill from the Abbey and cascade over the land. Grape varieties planted include Friulano, Malvasia, Picolit, Pinot Bianco, Ribolla Gialla and Sauvignon Blanc. Red grapes include Merlot, Pignolo and Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso. The mountains protect the area from the winds. The first terraces date back to the late 1700s. They were restored in 1900. Today the Abbey has 20 hectares (50 acres) of grapevines.
Livio Felluga winery is responsible for producing the wines from the Abbey vineyards. The Abbazia Di Rosazzo was a blend of Friulano, Pinot Bianco, Sauvignon Blanc, Malvasia, and Ribolla Gialla. This wine was a light yellow with excellent clarity with citrus and floral notes yielding to minerals. Pinot Bianco was a straw color with citrus notes and a crisp finish.
Anytime of the year, enjoy a visit to Abbey of Rosazzo. Lovers of roses may want to visit when the roses are in full bloom.
Abbey of Rosazzo
Piazza Abbazia, 5
33044 Manzano - Loc. Rosazzo Udine, Italy
Via Risorgimento 1
Cormons (GO), Italia
Article written April 2013
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