This is a series of articles about Italian Wine regions: we will explain the region, the grapes, the wines and DOCG, DOC and IGT Appellations.
In Italy’s north eastern corner lies Friuli-Venezia Giulia. This little region sits on the Adriatic coast, with the Alps bordering it with Austria in the north and Slovenia in the east. The region has an outstanding reputation for its white wines. A mixture of local and international grape varieties are grown with great success here. The region’s winemakers are forward-thinking, even pioneering the "Friuli method", a modern technique for getting juice off the skins quickly.
The region has had great success with its single varietal white wines. Friuli’s own Ribolla Gialla shows great elegance, whereas Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Bianco from the region tend to be stylish and refined expressions of the grapes. Oak ageing has not been common among whites: most of the wines are delicately fragranced with a very pure character and would not benefit from it.
Red wines from Friuli have tended to be single varietal wines made from Italian grapes like Refosco as well as Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Pinot Nero. Usually they are light and approachable and not designed for cellaring.
Collio’s Ribolla Gialla is responsible for some sleek dry whites. Refosco is a versatile red grape whose recent versions have taken well to oak ageing.
Friuli Venezia Giulia DOCG wine appellations:
Colli Orientali del Friuli Picolit, Lison, Ramandolo, Rosazzo
Friuli Venezia Giulia DOC wine appellations:
Carso, Collio Goriziano or Collio, Friuli Annia, Friuli Aquileia, Friuli Colli Orientali, Friuli Grave, Friuli Isonzo, Friuli Latisana, Lison-Pramaggiore, Prosecco
Friuli Venezia Giulia IGT wine appellations:
Alto Livenza, Delle Venezie, Venezia Giulia