Lined with the occasional row of poppies, rippled by the faintest of breezes, the landscape is a sweep of vineyards typical of the Trevisan countryside. In Monastier, the vines are grown to encircle a seventeenth century chateau, on the land of an old abbey from which it takes its name.
Here, the road of the great Veneto wines passes by. Here, for centuries the road has suggested welcome rest. It is a surprising place. For while the local D.O.C whites are exquisite – the Pinot Grigio, the Pinto Bianco, the Chardonnay, the Verduzzo – here too, in sweet contradiction, the azure and noble vein marking out these lands on the oenologist’s map changes to red – in Monastier, to the D.O.C reds of Cabernet, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Raboso.
In laying claim to emperor Giustiniano as their forefather, the lords of these lands, the Giustiniani, boast legendary origins.
No less legendary if, since its dawn, it is also the history of the Venetian Republic to have testified to their traditions – to the illustrious characters that have graced their name for centuries: Saints like Lorenzo, Poets like Leonardo, Historians like Bernardo, Doges like Marcantonio Giustiniani.
Stretching back in time, the line is long with these apparitions descending from the altars, descending from the niches and pedestals of monuments to project their glorious shadows as far as us. Will they have come, in the days of their earthly season, from the great palaces of the Lagoon?
Will they have reascended the canals, the gentle current of the Meolo, as far as the stone stepped landing places of these blessed lands?
Lands where the passage of time seems to crystallise in a thousand cordial ways; from the pergolas weighed low with clustered grapes, to the solemn and safely guarded oak barrels of the cellars. Even today – or is it an illusion? – these illustrious and sumptuously attired ghosts could arrive from one moment to the next.
It seems one can almost count the dames and knights who follow them; the musicians with their singular instruments, the impassioned singers, the servants, the animals domestic and exotic.
The tables are always ready. Upon them, in wonderful Murano flagons, shines the ruby of this place’s reds, the amber of its whites. The vineyards around have the colours of many a canvas, the tender melancholy of the closing scene of Goldoni’s “Villeggiatura”.
“Someone sings, somewhere: Woman, raise the hatch, that it creaks not in the opening…”
Sergio Ferrero – Writer and Novelist
It is an ancient song, a melody that goes back to who knows where, who knows when.
The words, adorable in their mischief, are those of a Giustiniani, Leonardo, the poet: his home is here.