Friuli-Venezia Giulia wine region
Friuli is the fascinating corner of northeast Italy. We say fascinating because geographically it’s surrounded by the Adriatic Sea to the south, Slovenia to the east, Austria to the north and the balance of Italy to the west. So you can imagine the range of influences it experiences as a region.
Nonetheless, Friuli (as it is often shortened) justifiably takes most the credit for producing some of Italy’s finest white wines.
There are two main regions; Collio Orientali del Friuli, and Collio Goriziano. The latter sub-region borders much more of Slovenia than the former and is somewhat confusingly, usually shortened to just Collio.
In the region as a whole, though, its world class wines have largely come from the local grape Friulano, formerly known as Tocai Friulano (until the Hungarians protested against it) and which is actually Sauvignon Vert, or Sauvignonasse. And here, in the DOC of Colli Orientali del Friuli, Friulano is a triumph.
The original boundaries of this production area now belong to Slovenia as the region was broken up after WWII, with the eastern part annexed to the former Yugoslavia.
Following its worldwide success, Pinot Grigio has now overtaken Friulano as the region’s most planted variety, but Friulano reigns supreme in terms of quality.
As well as these two varieties, there is also plenty of Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay as well as local speciality Verduzzo, and Picolit, a variety used for sweet wine production. And as for reds, there’s an increasing interest in Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Decanting Club wines from: Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Conti Formentini, Cabernet Franc Collio
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