CASTEL SAN MAURO is located on the Italian north-eastern hills embracing Gorizia, known as Collio. It extends over an area of 25 hectares of which 6.5 are with vines. The south-facing land, among the woods of Mount Sabotino and the meadows that slope down towards the Isonzo River, its type consisting of marl and sandstone (Ponca) are the conditions that favor the cultivation of the vine since ancient times. Castel San Mauro is the name of a military garrison owned in the 13th century by Baron Von Graben who came from Styria (now in Austria) to administer the farm in the Gorizia County. Natural transit artery for goods and people, the Isonzo valley for centuries saw the passage towards north of wagons filled with wine and fruit. From the mid Twentieth Century the farm belongs to the family of the current owner, Manuele Mauri. In 1958, the Grandfather Gilberto began renovating the old villa and the old vineyards.
Mount SABOTINO rises 609 meters a.s.l. North East of GORIZIA. It includes two smaller sections 507 to the north and 535 to the south, called SAN VALENTINO, with which it forms a short chain with a north-west southeast orientation. Its elongated configuration is common to two other mountains that overlook the ISONZO River: MONTE SANTO in the North, SAN GABRIELE in the East. In these places, since the last glaciation (15-20 thousand years), a considerable biodiversity has been developed: to date 680 botanical species have been classified, 25 of which belong to ORCHIDACEAE (2 of which are very rare).
Its slopes have different characteristics, not just orographic, and the crest line between West and East until the independence of Slovenia separates two vegetable groups.
The northern part, rough and sloping down steeply towards the ISONZO river, houses alpine origin species (northern migrants) such as the hop hornbeam and the common hornbeam. The southern part, sloping towards Gorizia and covered by a layer of clay soil (the PONCA), houses sub-Mediterranean species (southern migrants) or Illyrian-Karstic such as: oak, durmast oak, holm oak, iris, illyrica.
During the HASBURG EMPIRE the Sabotino, together with the nearby TARNOVA FOREST, were the IMPERIAL WOODS and to this day, the trunks of those trees continue a centuries-old work supporting the roofs of the old Gorizia.
In the nineteenth century, the peculiar limestone rock had been removed in multiple points, for the extraction of the Sabotino RED STONE.
At the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth century, the woods (that at this point were used up) left room for grazing of sheep until the outbreak of the First World War which reduced the mountain to a harsh and desolate scree.
Today, the natural aspect of the area allows it to be a protected area in the Slovenian part; here you can encounter the HAWK, the ALPINE EAGLE, the EAGLE OWL, and the OWL. The ground fauna consists of WILD BOARS, ROE DEERS, FOXES, MARTENS, BADGERS and for the records, in the early '90s, there had been a transient appearance of the BEAR.
These heterogeneous aspects of Mount SABOTINO area make it a great naturalistic, environmental and historical heritage; a unique reality of opposite factors in a severe and mild scenario.
The ISONZO River originates from a karstic spring at 940 meters a.s.l. in VAL TRENTA (Slovenia).
From IZVOR SOCE, the torrential river flows twisting and sloping between the rocks.
It runs west to PLEZZO (BOVEC), East until TOLMINO and south to GORIZIA, from where it slides along the plain, and plunges itself into the ADRIATIC SEA.
In the Julian Alps it crosses three basins, which are named after the villages that lie there: BOVEC (PLEZZO), KOBARID (CAPORETTO), TOLMIN (TOLMIN).
Downstream of KANAL (CANAL OF ISONZO), the river separates the COLLIO from the BAINSIZZA PLATEAUX, just north of Gorizia. Here, in a quaint environment that maintains strong natural conditions, its right bank touches the steep face of the SABOTINO mountain and skirts it around entering the Italian territory.
In a 50 meters deep ravine lays the countryside of CASTEL SAN MAURO, before the town of Gorizia; here the Isonzo banks form a protected area called "ISONZO RESERVE".
After Gorizia the river gradually enlarges and the water covers extended gravel deposits; it wets GRADISCA and SAGRADO, delimiting the KARSTIC PLATEAUX to the northwest.
After 136 kilometres, 41 of which in the province of Gorizia, it flows into the PANZANO GULF with a “W” shaped delta where the REGIONAL NATURAL RESERVE OF THE ISONZO DELTA was constituted. Its tributaries to the right are: Coritenza, Uccea, Torre; to the left are: Idria and Vipacco.