The region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia in the North East of Italy, is one of Italy’s most prestigious but little known regions in the UK. Historically the most important wine estates are mainly found in the regions of the Collie Goriziano and the Coli Orientali del Friuli, although the small region of Isonzo is now home to a wealth of superb estates. Although the regions found fame mainly for its white wines – here Sauvignon and Chardonnay can reflect the superb minerality of the terroir and have good aging potential – there is also some outstanding reds being produced, in particular from Merlot.
One of the most traditional grape varieties of the region has had to have be renamed- after 1st April 2007, the words Tocai Friulano can not longer appear on the wine labels (result of a legal battle with the Hungarians over ownership of the name Tocai) and this grape variety has now been renamed simply Friulano. Another variety native to the region is the Ribolla Gialla, which can be a complex wine with a fascinating nose when made from older vines.