The main place in this magical hilly landscape in the immediate vicinity of Gorizia is the pretty little town of Cormons with its Habsburg charm, which is surrounded by small picturesque villages on the border with Slovenia in which Slovenian is spoken. The mountains and the sea are close enough to touch : The simply unique microclimate here due to the winds and the temperature fluctuations is the ideal complement to the typical marly soil of the Collio, known locally as “ponka”, which could not be better for wine growing. It is well worth stopping at one of the typical wine cellars, where the wine matures in large casks and the master of the wine press guards the secrets of his art!
Whilst the Collio was originally a hilly landscape characterised mainly by oak trees, the appearance of the landscape has now changed greatly: While the forest has been pushed back to the northern slopes, the southern slopes are now covered in extensive vineyards laid out in terraces. The Piana del Preval, once marshland, still shows a few traces from the period when it was drained, and a few lakes have remained. Further southwards the hilly landscape gives way to the alluvial plain of the Isonzo. Past the hills of Farra d’Isonzo the small town of Gradisca emerges, once an important outpost of the Republic of Venice under the rule of the Habsburgs.