This region is situated in Italy’s northeast and borders Slovenia and Austria.
Friuli Venezia Giulia overlooks the Adriatic Sea and is surrounded by high mountains, enclosing many different landscapes.
In Friuli Venezia Giulia most of the vineyards are located in the southern half of the region facing slopes of the Alps foothills where they can benefit from the most direct sunlight to go along with the night-time cool breezes from the Adriatic.
Most of the vineyards are located in the southern half of the region facing slopes of the Alps foothills where they can benefit from the most direct sunlight to go along with the night-time cool breezes from the Adriatic, including the large wine regions of Collio Goriziano, Colli Orientali del Friuli, Isonzo and Carso. The southeast province of Gorizia is home to the DOCs of the Collio region, most notably Collio Goriziano, dominated by white wine production, making five times more white than red wine. Collio wine is typically full bodied and rich, made as a varietal or blend of Friulano, Ribolla Gialla, Malvasia Istriana, Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Pinot grigio and Sauvignon blanc. Red wine under the designation Collio Rosso is made from a blend of Merlot, Cabernet franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Isonzo and Carso wine regions are located in the far southeastern part of Friuli-Venezia Giulia bordering Slovenia predominately have a maritime climate with more rainfall than other Friuli regions. Over 30 different grapes varieties are grown in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia including international varieties such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot as well as local varieties like Refosco dal peduncolo rosso, Schioppettino, Friulano, Ribolla Gialla and Verduzzo.
In Italy, this variety only grows in Friuli Venezia Giulia and both subregions where it is grown are DOC designated. The wines are reddish-amber tinged, with fresh buttercup, tangerine and lemony-pepper notes. High acidity is very characteristic of these wines.
Refosco has very dark blue berries with thin, but resistant skin. The wines tend to have intensely vinous notes and touches of wild blackberries and spicy-savory flavors on the palate, with developed tannins and a hint of pleasant bitterness.
Tocai Friulano is a historical grape, now more commonly called Friulano, because the term “Tokay” may only legally refer to Hungarian wines. A good Friulano is pale straw green in color with delicate aromas of white flowers, sweet almond, and green apple. Oak is also sometimes used carefully with this wine.
Of the local varieties, Friulano is the most well-known and important variety, producing crisp, floral wines that develop notes of nuts and fennel as it ages. The Friuli-Venezia Giulia wine region touts a very rich and hearty cuisine, including lots of meat and cheese. Heavy stews, game and fowl are popular dishes that inevitably get paired with the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region's wines.