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 Collio, Colli Oriental del Friuli, Isonzo del Friuli and Carso. Wine production is dominated by white wine, making five times more white than red. The whites are typically full bodied and rich, made as a single varietal or as a blend that may contain Friuliano, Ribolla Gialla, Malvasia Istriana, Chardonnay Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, or Sauvignon Blanc. Also red wine can be made similarly as a single varietal or as a blend with Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. This southeastern part of Friuli Venzia Giulia bordering on Slovinia has a predominately maritime climate with more rainfall than other Friuli regions. Over 30 different grape varieties are grown here. In additional to the International varieties, local grapes like Refosco dal Peduncolo, Rosso, Schioppettino, Friuliano, Ribolla Gialla and Verduzzo are celebrated.
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. Of the International varieties, richer Pinot Grigio and pungent Sauvignon excel. The Friuli-Venezia Giulia wine region touts 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.