The noble Serego family reclaimed land and planted new crops such as rice and vines, making the Fiumenovo District a highly desirable area for those members of the aristocracy who had transformed themselves into gentleman farmers.
That the Seregos were great lovers of wine is demonstrated by the copious correspondence with their farm managers, in which the preciousness of this product is often mentioned. Just a few examples will be sufficient for one to understand how the “grapes from the sands” had become a prized resource for the tables of the nobility, but also for those who worked the land. On 4th. September1527, Count Alberto Serego wrote to his bailiff Nicolò at Cucca (Veronella), inviting him to have care of his fields “so that the grapes are not stolen”.
He also wrote: “do not forget to keep the grapes for making the cooked wine and the grape relish” and, on 5th January 1528:”Send another vezodeto of cooked wine and a pitarelo of grape relish”.
Vines were held in great consideration both by the Republic of Venice and by the Rectors of the towns, as testified by the “Regule” of Cologna, which date back to 1432 and whose contents were then included in the Statute of 1593.
During the era of Venetian rule, the area around Cologna benefited from the active presence of around sixty noble families which, by using drilling systems, were able to take advantage of the abundance of water that the rivers provided in order to till abandoned fields and make them ready for sowing with grape or other seeds. They also built villas, mansions and farms throughout the area, thereby creating a very particular architectural environment in which agriculture – which revolved around the “corti” – was carried out.
The area of Cologna was, for the Republic of Venice, a favoured district: that Dogal territory, with its close links to Venice itself, supplied abundant wine, cereals and hemp, resources that the Venetians simply could not do without. This explains why an Agricultural Academy came to be founded at Cologna in 1780.
The 18th. is the great century of the Academies, but many of them, including that of Cologna, were swept away by Napoleon’s revolutionary wave. However, the Academy of Agriculture, Science and Letters in Verona survived and undoubtedly constituted a driving force for renewal in agriculture and, in particular, for the planting and cultivation of vines in the Arcole zone as well.