The Tenuta

Wine Diviners

rabdomanti del vino

We like to think of ourselves as rabdomanti del vino, or ‘wine diviners.’
This concept, this image represents in a graphic fashion the amount of striving, of passionate commitment, and of sheer stubbornness that one needs in order to do well as a winegrower.
The reason? It is true that a wine must be the offspring of a naturally-blessed growing area, but it is even more true that a special wine can only come into being as the creation of firm, experienced hands that know how to take full advantage of a millennia-old tradition.
With the benevolent gaze of nature and the ceaseless labour of man as guides, this is the only path that will bring to light and into existence a treasure that is often hidden away, guarded jealously in the bowels of the earth.
Yes, in real life, the diviner goes in search of just water. But the world of wine is not composed simply of objective realities; it also holds, in addition to much striving, so much poetry and arcane alchemies...
This has been our world, our labour, since 1499.
And the treasure hunt goes on…

A nonpareil history

As far back as Roman times, these growing areas, stretching from the steep-sloped rive alte of the Isonzo river to the hills of the Collio, were renowned as mansi (vineyards) that could yield wines that were ottimo e vero, genuine and outstanding.
This vocation to quality viticulture has been producing superb wines for centuries, fruits of the enlightened practices through the centuries of the various titleholders of the Tenuta Villanova. Such wines emerged right from the time of its foundation, on 5 April 1499, the year in which the Conti Strassoldo purchased the Tenuta from the Chapter of the Patriarchate of Aquileia; they then continued to own and manage it for a full three centuries.
In the 1800s, a new family, the Levis, dramatically improved the performance and image of the Tenuta, and by the end of the century it boasted fully 65 separate farming properties and a significant presence in foreign markets as well.
After passing through various ownerships, the estate was purchased in 1932 by Arnaldo Bennati; he initially named it Piave-Isonzo, then in 1985 he adopted the name Villa Villanova for his modern transformation of the historic agricultural enterprise.
Today, Giuseppina Grossi Bennati represents the Bennati family, determinedly managing the estate, which now encompasses 200 hectares; part is in vineyard, with 100 hectares registered to DOC Isonzo wines and 27 to the DOC Collio, and the remainder is in woods and permanent meadows. Tenuta Villanova thus enjoys a natural inheritance, built up through its history and developed to its fullest potential by its owners, who with their passionate commitment and expertise are already creating the future of the estate.

The Cellar

When the cellar is a treasure repository

Tenuta Villanova’s collection of products, its still and sparkling wines, its grappas and distilled spirits, is a true treasure-trove, each one in its own precious cask. For everything that the Tenuta produces encloses in itself two noble qualities, a character classic to this growing area and to this history, and the international stamp of its quality and of its appeal.
Thus, the carefully-selected grape varieties, nurtured in the two DOC areas of Collio and Isonzo, create the various portfolios of wines that satisfy the demands of every taste and market, as the Tenuta constantly strives to marry together ancient traditions with the most up-to-date production practices and technologies. In order to ensure the highest standards of healthfulness, quality, and longevity requested by the international market, all of the wines are produced and stored in stainless steel, while the barrel room is reserved only for the most exclusive wines.

The Distillery

All of the wines resting in this jewel case of a cellar breathe in syntony with their past and future, as do the spirits that are distilled and enriched in what is perhaps the Tenuta?s most iconic symbol, the ancient copper distilling cauldron, which for fully five centuries has yielded the grappas and spirits that convey such sublime sensory experiences.


At Tenuta Villanova, making wine means sharing its treasure.
In virtue of its extraordinary natural setting and of its impressive hospitality facilities, the Tenuta, within the ancient hamlet of Villanova, has always served as a focus for the life and activities of the local farming populace.
Pleasure in sharing and in convivial enjoyment still animates Tenuta Villanova today, so that it can translate all of the hard work and passion dedicated to making its wine into a style of living that will truly enrich everyone, both those offer and those who receive.
This is the reason that Tenuta Villanova has always been in the forefront in offering and organising special events, tastings, and educational meetings, and for this reason too plans are already underway to transform the historical storage areas into a hotel facility.