Friuli, Italy wine region

If you’re looking for a new and exciting wine experience, look no further than the Friuli Wine Region in northeastern Italy. With a diverse range of soils and microclimates, this region produces a wide variety of wines that are sure to please any palate. 

 

From crisp whites to full-bodied reds, Friuli has it all. And with a rich history dating back to Roman times, you can be sure that you’re enjoying a truly authentic wine experience. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to taste the unique flavors of Friuli. 

 

Book a tour today and discover why this region is quickly becoming a must-visit destination for wine lovers.

Friuli wine region highlights:
  • Located in Italy on the border of Austria and Slovenia.
  • Produces both red and white wine varieties.
  • Home to picturesque villages and various subregions to explore.

Overview of the Friuli wine region

The Friuli Wine Region is located in northeastern Italy, bordering the wine regions of Austria and Slovenia. It is known for its diverse range of soils and microclimates that allow for a wide variety of wine styles to be produced. The region is divided into three main areas: Collio, where white wines are the specialty; Colli Orientali, where both white and red wines are produced; and Isonzo, where a focus on red wines.

The most notable white wines from Friuli are made from the Friulano, Ribolla Gialla, and Pinot Grigio grape varieties. These wines are known for their crisp acidity and minerality, and are often aged in oak barrels to add complexity.

 

Red wines from Friuli are primarily made from the Schioppettino, Refosco, and Pignolo grape varieties. These wines are known for their full body, with flavors of dark fruit and spices.

The Friuli wine region is also home to a number of indigenous grape varieties, such as Ribolla Nera, Picolit, and Verduzzo, which are used to make unique and rare wines.

 

Overall, Friuli wine region is a must-visit destination for wine lovers, with its unique wine styles, history and stunning landscapes. With a wide variety of wines to choose from, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Friuli wine map

The Friuli Wine Region is located in northeastern Italy, bordering the wine regions of Austria and Slovenia. It is known for its diverse range of soils and microclimates that allow for a wide variety of wine styles to be produced. The region is divided into three main areas: Collio, where white wines are the specialty; Colli Orientali, where both white and red wines are produced; and Isonzo, where a focus on red wines.

The most notable white wines from Friuli are made from the Friulano, Ribolla Gialla, and Pinot Grigio grape varieties. These wines are known for their crisp acidity and minerality, and are often aged in oak barrels to add complexity.

 

Red wines from Friuli are primarily made from the Schioppettino, Refosco, and Pignolo grape varieties. These wines are known for their full body, with flavors of dark fruit and spices.

The Friuli wine region is also home to a number of indigenous grape varieties, such as Ribolla Nera, Picolit, and Verduzzo, which are used to make unique and rare wines.

 

Overall, Friuli wine region is a must-visit destination for wine lovers, with its unique wine styles, history and stunning landscapes. With a wide variety of wines to choose from, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Cities to visit in Friuli wine region

The Friuli wine region is also known for its picturesque villages, such as the wine city of Prepotto and Dolegna del Collio, which offer opportunities to taste local wines and explore the area’s rich cultural heritage. The region is also home to a number of wineries and vineyards that are open to visitors for tastings and tours.

  1. Cividale del Friuli: This charming town is located in the heart of the Friuli Wine Region and is known for its well-preserved medieval architecture. Visitors can explore the town’s historic center, which is home to a number of ancient churches, palaces, and piazzas, as well as the National Archaeological Museum, which features Roman and Longobard artifacts.
  2. Udine: This lively city is the capital of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region and is known for its beautiful Renaissance architecture and vibrant cultural scene. Visitors can explore the town’s historic center, which is home to a number of museums, art galleries, and libraries, as well as the beautiful Piazza della Libertà, which is surrounded by historic buildings and monuments.
  3. Gorizia: This small city is located on the border of Italy and Slovenia and is known for its mix of Italian and Slovenian cultures. Visitors can explore the town’s historic center, which is home to a number of museums, art galleries, and libraries, as well as the beautiful Piazza della Transalpina, which is surrounded by historic buildings and monuments.

All those cities are perfect to visit in the spring and summer season, where you can enjoy the local wine and food, and also explore the beautiful nature and culture of the region.

Unique places to visit in the Friuli wine region

The Friuli Wine Region is home to many unique places to visit, here are a few examples:

 

Collio: This picturesque region is known for its rolling hills and vineyards. Visitors can explore the area’s many wineries and tasting rooms, which offer the opportunity to sample some of the region’s famous wines.

 

Carso: The Karst region or Carso, is a limestone plateau that stretches across the border of Italy and Slovenia, known for its unique karst landscape, caves, and underground rivers. Visitors can explore the area’s many hiking trails, as well as the Grotta Gigante, one of the largest show caves in the world, and the Škocjan Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

Aquileia: This ancient Roman city is home to some of the best-preserved mosaics in Italy, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can explore the ancient ruins, including the Roman Forum, the Basilica, and the National Archaeological Museum.

 

Castello di Spessa: This beautiful castle is set in the rolling hills of the Collio region, and offers a unique opportunity to experience life in a medieval castle, with guided tours, wine tastings, and traditional meals.

 

Cjastel: This beautiful castle is located in the heart of the Collio region, and is known for its wine production, visitors can enjoy guided tours, wine tastings and also a beautiful view over the region.

 

Those are some examples of the unique places that the Friuli Wine Region offers, the region has a lot to offer, from culture, history, wine, and nature, with many more hidden gems waiting to be discovered.

Popular wines of Friuli

The Friuli Wine Region in northeastern Italy is known for producing a wide variety of wine styles, some of the most popular wines of the region include:

 

Friulano: This is the most important white grape variety of the region, producing wines that are known for their crisp acidity, minerality, and often aged in oak barrel, that gives complexity and nutty and buttery notes.

 

Ribolla Gialla: This grape variety produces wines that are lively and refreshing, with flavors of green apple, lemon and mineral notes.

 

Pinot Grigio: These wines are known for their crisp acidity, floral and fruit notes, and minerality.

 

Refosco: This is a red grape variety that produces full-bodied wines, with dark fruit flavors such as black cherry, plum and spices.

 

Schioppettino: This red grape variety produces wines that are robust and structured, with flavors of black cherry, black currant, and spices.

 

Picolit: This is a sweet white grape variety that produces rich, complex wines with honey, apricot, and almond flavors.

 

Ramandolo: This is a sweet white grape variety that produces wines with a rich bouquet of apricot, peach, and honey notes.

 

Pinot Bianco: A dry white wine made from the Pinot Blanc grape variety, it has a delicate aroma and a harmonious and fruity taste.

 

Ribolla Nera: A red wine made from the Ribolla Nera grape variety, it has a ruby red color, a fruity aroma, and a dry taste with a slight tannic finish.

 

Verduzzo: A white wine made from the Verduzzo grape variety, it has a golden color, a floral aroma, and a sweet, rich, and full-bodied taste.

 

Picolit: A sweet white wine made from the Picolit grape variety, it has a golden color, a floral aroma, and a sweet, rich, and full-bodied taste.

 

Pignolo: A red wine made from the Pignolo grape variety, it has a dark color, a spicy aroma and a dry taste with a good tannic structure.

 

Ramandolo: a sweet white wine made from the Verduzzo grape variety, it is a DOCG (Denominazione di origine controllata e garantita) wine, it has a golden color, a floral aroma, and a sweet, rich, and full-bodied taste.

 

All of these wines are highly rated by critics and wine enthusiasts, and are considered to be among the best that the Friuli Wine Region has to offer.

About Friuli Wines: Types & Characteristics

The Friuli Wine Region in northeastern Italy produces a wide variety of wine styles, including:

 

  • White wines: The most notable white wines from Friuli are made from the Friulano, Ribolla Gialla, and Pinot Grigio grape varieties. These wines are known for their crisp acidity and minerality, and are often aged in oak barrels to add complexity.

 

  • Red wines: The region’s red wines are primarily made from the Schioppettino, Refosco, and Pignolo grape varieties. These wines are known for their full body, with flavors of dark fruit and spices.

 

  • Sparkling wines: Friuli is also home to a number of wineries producing sparkling wines, mainly made from the Ribolla Gialla grape, that can be made in the Charmat or Metodo Classico method.

 

  • Fortified wines: The region has a long tradition of producing sweet wines made from dried grapes, such as Ramandolo and Picolit.

 

  • Rosé wines: Some wineries in the region also produce rosé wines made from Pinot Grigio, Refosco and Schioppettino.

 

The Friuli Wine Region is known for its diverse range of soils and microclimates which allows for a wide variety of wine styles to be produced.

Appellations of the Friuli wine region

The Friuli wine region in northeastern Italy has several appellations, each with its own unique characteristics and grape varieties. Here is a complete list of the appellations in Friuli:

  • Colli Orientali del Friuli
  • Collio Goriziano
  • Carso or Carso-Kras
  • Friuli Annia
  • Friuli Aquileia
  • Friuli Grave
  • Isonzo or Isonzo del Friuli
  • Lison-Pramaggiore
  • Ramandolo

Each appellation has specific regulations regarding grape varieties, winemaking techniques, and aging requirements. These regulations help to ensure that wines produced within each appellation are of high quality and reflect the unique terroir of their respective regions.

Friuli Wine Taste Notes & Flavors

Tasting wines from the Friuli Wine Region is a unique and exciting experience. The wines of this region are known for their diversity and complexity, with a wide range of styles to choose from.

 

When tasting white wines from the Friuli Wine Region, expect to find wines that are crisp and refreshing, with flavors of green apple, lemon, and mineral notes. Friulano and Ribolla Gialla are the most popular white grape varieties in the region, and are known for their minerality and acidity. Pinot Grigio is also a popular white grape variety in the region, and is known for its floral and fruit notes.

 

When tasting red wines from the Friuli Wine Region, expect to find wines that are full-bodied and robust, with flavors of dark fruit, spices, and a hint of tannins. Schioppettino and Refosco are the most popular red grape varieties in the region, and are known for their full-body and rich flavors.

 

Fortified wines and sweet wines are also popular in the region, Ramandolo and Picolit are the most notable sweet wines, made from dried grapes, these wines are complex and rich with flavors of honey, apricot, and almond.

 

When tasting wines from the Friuli Wine Region, take note of the wine’s appearance, aroma, flavor, and finish. Look for the wine’s color, clarity, and viscosity. Smell the wine and note any aromas or scents. Taste the wine and note any flavors or textures, and pay attention to the wine’s finish, which is the aftertaste the wine leaves behind.

 

Overall, tasting wines from the Friuli Wine Region is an exciting and delicious experience, with a wide range of styles to choose from, and a unique and authentic history.

Grape Varieties of Friuli wines

The Friuli Wine Region in northeastern Italy is known for producing a wide variety of wine styles, with several grape varieties that are commonly used to make wines in the region. Some of the most notable grape varieties and their styles are:

 

Friulano: This grape variety is one of the most important white grape varieties in the region. Wines made from Friulano are known for their crisp acidity, minerality, and nutty and buttery notes when aged in oak barrels.

 

Ribolla Gialla: This grape variety is used to make white wines that are lively and refreshing, with flavors of green apple, lemon, and mineral notes. Sparkling wines made from Ribolla Gialla are also popular in the region.

 

Pinot Grigio: This grape variety is used to make white wines that are crisp and refreshing, with flavors of floral and fruit notes, and minerality. Rosé wines made from Pinot Grigio are also becoming more popular in the region.

 

Refosco: This grape variety is used to make red wines that are full-bodied, with flavors of dark fruit, such as black cherry and plum, and spices.

 

Schioppettino: This grape variety is used to make red wines that are robust and structured, with flavors of black cherry, black currant, and spices.

 

Picolit: This is a sweet white grape variety that is used to make rich, complex wines with honey, apricot, and almond flavors.

 

Ramandolo: This is a sweet white grape variety that is used to make wines with a rich bouquet of apricot, peach, and honey notes.

 

All of these grape varieties are grown in the Friuli Wine Region and contribute to the unique and diverse wine styles that the region is known for. The region’s diverse soils and microclimates allow for a wide range of flavors and styles to be produced, making it a unique and exciting region to explore.

Frequently Asked Questions About Friuli wine region

  • What is the best time to visit the Friuli Wine Region?

    The best time to visit the Friuli Wine Region depends on what you're interested in. The region is beautiful all year round, but spring and summer are the best seasons to visit if you're interested in wine tasting, while autumn is a great time to visit if you're interested in seeing the grape harvest.
  • How can I get around the Friuli Wine Region?

    The Friuli Wine Region is well-connected by train and bus, and there are also several airports nearby, including Trieste-Friuli Venezia Giulia Airport, which is located about 30 minutes from Udine. Visitors can also rent a car or bicycle to explore the region.
  • Are there any food specialties in the Friuli Wine Region?

    Yes, the Friuli Wine Region is known for its delicious local cuisine, which includes dishes such as frico (a fried cheese and potato dish), jota (a bean and sausage stew), and cjarsons (a type of ravioli filled with potatoes and spinach).
  • How many wineries are there in the Friuli Wine Region?

    The Friuli Wine Region has approximately 1,000 wineries and vineyards, which produce wines from a variety of grape varieties.
  • Are there any wine festivals or events in the Friuli Wine Region?

    Yes, there are several wine festivals and events that take place in the Friuli Wine Region throughout the year, such as the Wine Festival in Cividale del Friuli, the Wine and Truffle Fair in Prepotto, and the Wine and Food Festival in Udine. These events offer visitors the opportunity to taste local wines, meet winemakers, and try traditional local dishes.
  • Can I visit wineries in the Friuli Wine Region year-round?

    Many wineries in the Friuli Wine Region are open to visitors year-round, but it's best to check with individual wineries for their specific hours and availability. Some wineries may have limited opening hours during the winter months.
  • Are there any guided tours or wine tasting experiences available in the Friuli Wine Region?

    Yes, there are several guided tours and wine tasting experiences available in the Friuli Wine Region, which can be arranged through Winalist’s search feature as well as local tour operators or directly with individual wineries. These tours and tastings can range from simple tastings to more in-depth experiences, such as vineyard tours, barrel tastings, and food and wine pairing sessions.
  • Can I stay overnight in the wineries in the Friuli Wine Region?

    Yes, some wineries in the Friuli Wine Region offer accommodation, such as bed and breakfast or apartments, which allow visitors to fully immerse themselves in the wine-making culture and experience the region's landscapes and wines.