The Friuli-Venezia Giulia region is in the North East corner of Italy, bounded by the Alps, Slovenia, and Austria and the Adriatic.
Italian Name: Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Major Grape varieties: Tocai Friuliano, Pinot Grigio, Savignon, Pinot Bianco (whites) Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Refosco (reds) Picolit (desert wine variety)
Best known wines: Varietal wines from Tocai Friuliano, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon and Merlot,
Food specialties: Proscuitto, especially proscuitto di San Daniele; Montasio cows milk cheese, Speck, frico a cheese based pancake, polenta
This region has had a varied history as part of assorted European kingdoms and empires, and this political and cultural heritage is also expressed in the range of wines produced here.
As we would expect a cooler region, white wine is important in this region. There is also an emphasis on quality production rather than quantity. The Region was also one of the first to develop modern techniques of winemaking - refrigerated stainless steel tanks rather than open wooden vats - to make crisp dry whites rather than sweetish heavy oxidized wines.
There are two Friuli wines recognized as DOCG Wines, both are sweet.
Colli Orientali del Friuli Picolit DOCG
A desert style wine made from late harvested grapes.
These sweet wines typically finish with some acidity to clean the palate. You can enjoy them with biscotti. or almond cakes
Ramandolo is made from the Verduzzo grape variety, locally the grape is also called Ramandolo.
There are also the following DOC regions
De Long's Wine Map of Italy is a great resource to learn about Italian wine regions
The list in the left column shows the range of white varieties used in this region. Several are so called international varieties, reflecting the fact that this region has historically been more outward looking than other parts of Italy.
Many white wines from the region are made with a single variety and labelled accordingly. For example in the Colli Orientali del Friuli DOC varietal white wines are made from most of the varieties listed.
The Super Whites of Friuli
Many winemakers make wine outside the rules of the DOC system. A group of these are called the Super Whites of Friuli. one example is Livio Fellugia Terre Alte made from a blend of Tocai Friulano, Pinot Blanc and Sauvignon.
Grape Varieties in Friuli
*These grape varieties are considered indigenous to the region