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Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy

Friuli-Venezia Giulia, often referred to simply as Friuli, is a region in northeastern Italy known for its exceptional wines, diverse landscapes, and a fusion of Italian, Slovenian, and Austrian influences. This region is celebrated for producing high-quality white wines, particularly from indigenous grape varieties.

Winemaking History & Terroir

Friuli has a rich winemaking history that dates back to Roman times. The region's proximity to the Adriatic Sea, the Julian Alps, and the influence of the Mediterranean and continental climates create a unique terroir. The hilly landscapes and well-drained soils contribute to the production of expressive and terroir-driven wines.

Common Grape Varietals & Wine Styles

Friuli is known for its focus on indigenous grape varieties, showcasing the distinctive flavors of the region.

Orange wines are white wines made using a winemaking technique where the grape skins are left in contact with the juice during fermentation and aging. This extended skin contact imparts color, tannins, and a range of aromatic compounds to the wine. Friulian winemakers have embraced this method, allowing for the creation of orange wines with distinct characteristics. The region is home to several indigenous grape varieties that are well-suited for orange wine production. Grape varieties such as Ribolla Gialla, Friulano, and Malvasia Istriana are often used to create complex and expressive orange wines.

Friuli-Venezia Giulia has seen a rise in the popularity of natural winemaking practices. Many producers in the region are committed to minimal intervention in the winemaking process, using indigenous yeasts, avoiding additives, and utilizing organic or biodynamic farming methods. This philosophy aligns well with the principles often associated with orange wine production.

Some key grape varieties include


Formerly known as Tocai Friulano, this white grape produces wines with almond and floral notes, often displaying a rich texture.

Ribolla Gialla

An ancient grape variety, Ribolla Gialla yields aromatic white wines with citrus, apple, and herbal characteristics.

Malvasia Istriana

This grape contributes to aromatic white wines with floral and stone fruit notes.

Pinot Grigio

While not indigenous, Pinot Grigio thrives in Friuli and is crafted into refreshing and crisp white wines.

Schioppettino and Refosco

These red grape varieties are known for producing wines with vibrant acidity, red fruit flavors, and a characteristic spiciness.

Major Winemaking Regions

Friuli is divided into several Denominazioni di Origine Controllata (DOC) and Denominazioni di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) areas, each highlighting specific grape varieties and styles


Recognized for its exceptional white wines, particularly those made from Friulano, Ribolla Gialla, and Malvasia Istriana. Collio Bianco is a notable expression of the region's white blends.

Colli Orientali del Friuli

This region is renowned for both white and red wines. White wines feature Friulano and Ribolla Gialla, while red wines showcase Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and indigenous red varieties.

Friuli Isonzo

Located closer to the Adriatic Sea, this area produces a diverse range of wines, including both whites and reds, with an emphasis on international grape varieties.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, Friuli is a captivating wine region in northeastern Italy, celebrated for its commitment to indigenous grape varieties and the production of terroir-driven wines. Whether exploring the aromatic whites of Collio, the diverse offerings of Colli Orientali del Friuli, or the coastal influences in Friuli Isonzo, the wines of Friuli-Venezia Giulia invite enthusiasts to discover the unique flavors and cultural mosaic of this exceptional Italian wine region

Tags: Region