The name of Aquila del Torre is closely bound up with the territory of Savorgnano del Torre. As you gaze towards Savorgnano from Udine, you can easily pick out the Aquila del Torre vineyards sprawling over the hillsides like an eagle's outstretched wings. Your mind's eye completes this topographic picture of the great bird of prey, which can often be seen soaring over the vineyards themselves, riding the thermal currents as it watches over this endlessly fascinating countryside. The Torre is the torrential stream that runs below the village. In the past, it has played a crucial part in the history of Udine for it regulated the flow of the town's urban watercourses, known as “rogge”. These modest canals brought water into the growing settlement, which was thus able to grow into a thriving town. Water from the Torre, which flowed into the Roggia di Udine, was exploited in 1915 to drive a turbine that supplied the town with electricity. Following Arturo Malignani's development of the electric light bulb, Udine became the best-lit town in the world: the city of light. We have highlighted the importance of the river Torre in our Vineria wine centre with a mosaic whose tiles were obtained from rocks taken from the watercourse itself.
The Aquila del Torre story began in 1904 when Cavaliere Sbuelz purchased 200 “campi” of land to create the estate. In 1922, Aquila del Torre extended over 111 hectares, of which about 90 were farmed and 21 left as woodland. Sbuelz, whose local nickname was Sire, saw the territory's potential and took advantage of the agricultural policies of the day to deforest part of the area and convert it to farm crops. Even at that time, the main crop was the Picolit grape, which was grown in association with fruit trees – pear, apple, peach, cherry and plum – and the cultivation of forage grasses as foodstuffs for horses, cattle and sheep.
In his book “Verde Friuli” (Green Friuli), the great Isi Benini urges “travellers on a wine pilgrimage through the Colli Orient not to miss a must-see site in those parts, the Podere del sole (as Aquila del Torre was known in those days) … the realm of Picolit from Sire of Savorgnano del Torre, and to pause in meditation before the plaque that celebrated writers and journalists from Diego Valeri to Orio Vergani, Chino Ermacora and others set in the Eocene marl of the highest hill as a tribute to the poet of wine, Omar Khayyám. Back in the 1940s, the group had a trench dug in which they placed about a hundred bottles of the regal Picolit as an act of devoted tribute to the the legendary poet. Although the plaque has been worn away by sun and rain, you can still read a few verses in praise of wine and bucolic peace:
"A book of verse underneath the bough,
A jug of wine and Thou
Singing in the wilderness –
Oh wilderness is Paradise enow".
Isi Benini again in “Verde Friuli”:
“About this Picolit an aphorism has sprung up which has to do with its acknowledged power as an aphrodisiac. It concerns a man who is past the age of love and says “Friend approaching picolit, if your flesh be no more weak, do not give this wine to the woman next to you because she might say yes”.
The fascinating story of this site puts down deep roots for what today is Aquila del Torre. In 1996, the family-run winery set out on the complex business of stabilising and constructing terracing for vine plantings while at the same time restructuring the ancient stable where the Vineria wine centre and cellar are now housed.