or Friuli-Venezia Giulia

Appears in
Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Friuli or Friuli-Venezia Giulia, the north-easternmost region of italy, borders on Austria to the north and slovenia to the east and has long been a confluence of three distinct peoples and cultures: Italian, Germanic, and Slavic. (See map under italy.) Despite endorsements of local wines by the usual succession of popes, emperors, princes, and princelings, Friuli’s history of distinctive wines remained largely hidden until the late 1960s, when the introduction of both German winemaking philosophy and temperature control—innovations usually credited to producer Mario Schiopetto—gave Italy’s first, fresh, fruity, internationally styled white wines. This created a fashion which has waned as Friuli’s international varietals became less distinctive, and as interest in indigenous varieties waxes. This style of (predominantly white) winemaking is one of the characteristic features of the region’s production; the other is the large number of wines produced by each single estate.