Friuli | The Grand Wine Tour

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Friuli is a small region, but it plays a very important role in the Italian wine scene. It is located at the foot of the Carnic and Julian Alps, nestled between Slovenia, Austria, Veneto and the Adriatic Sea.

Friuli is a small region, but it plays a very important role in the Italian wine scene. It is located at the foot of the Carnic and Julian Alps, nestled between Slovenia, Austria, Veneto and the Adriatic Sea. This means that the most important wine area, called Collio or Colli Orientali, enjoys a mild and temperate microclimate which, together with soil rich in salts and microelements, endow the wines with good color and enhance their aromatic profile.

 

Friuli has always exclusively grown native varieties such as Ribolla Gialla, Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso, Pignolo, Schioppettino, Tazzelenghe. Phylloxera allowed for the arrival of international varieties such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Cabernet, Pinot Noir to replace the damaged vines. Friulian white wines has reached such level of fame to be defined as “super whites”. 

Over time, the practice of macerating the skins of white grape varieties for a long time has spread, giving life to complex and well-structured wines. But also refining wine in amphora to produce the famous “Orange Wines”, to which Ribolla Gialla and Vitovska, a vine that came from Slovenia, are well suited.

Friulian food is famous overseas for Prosciutto di San Daniele, which has an intense aroma and a sweet and delicate flavor. Another specialty, this time from Collio, is Prosciutto di Osvaldo, a family business that produces a type of slightly smoked dry-cured ham that is perfect with wines that underwent a long period of maceration. We also have products from the mountains, like Frico, a mixture of low-fat cheese and Carnic cheese sautéed in oil and onion, or soups like Jota, made with vegetables and flour. Friulian pastry-making has certainly been influenced by Viennese tradition: Sacher and Dobos are highly popular cakes, as is Gubana, a type of sweet focaccia.