Friuli is so full of attractions, especially for gourmet tourists, to merit so many trips and original itineraries in order to explore and enjoy the richness of its landscapes, historic sites and culinary traditions.
Therefore, after having recommended the food and wine excellences of Friuli, we focus on the white wines of this region, products that reflect the uniqueness of an area where there is a great care for modernity and where different cultures meet.
How to recognize the varieties of top white wines from Friuli and what are the wine areas where they are produced? To answer these questions, let’s start from the explanations provided by the enologist Andrea Felluga, from Livio Felluga winery: “Because of our complicated history we have wines that reflect the traditions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Austria, Germany and the Eastern Adriatic”. “in addition to Pinot, Traminer, Riesling and Malvasia, we also have a large selection of indigenous grapes such as Ribolla Gialla and Verduzzo”.
South of Udine there are two territories for growing grape: Colli Orientali del Friuli and Collio include hillside areas, homeland of the famous Rosazzo and Oslavia crus, where some of the best regional wines born. The flatter lands have been enriched by alluvial deposits of the river Tagliamento and it is there that are produced varieties of wines such as Isonzo, Grave and Aquileia.
The first class white wines in Friuli
Bianco (or blended wines): These wines benefit from sophisticated winemaking techniques that amplify the elegance and intensity of wine. The white blends are very impressive; their peculiarity is due to the aromatic component of Sauvignon and the textured partner wine such as Friulano and Picolit.
Friulano: This is the most common variety in this region and until 2007 was known with the name Tocai. The main attribute of Friulano is the bitter almond flavor, which implies by producers not to exceed with the aromas due to aging.
Following a legal dispute with the Hungarian Tokaji region, this grape variety is now defined “Friulano” and became a symbol of the entire Friuli.
Pinot Bianco: Pinot Bianco was introduced in the XIX century, along with Chardonnay, Sauvignon and Merlot vine varieties. It is grown throughout North Italy but in Friuli has found the ideal venue, due to calcareous marl soils that enhance its fruity aromas of apricot, pear and apple. The wines in this category match wonderfully with shellfish or white asparagus risotto.
Pinot Grigio: Among the existing varieties of Pinot Grigio in Friuli, we recommend the Pinot Grigio Ramato, which in France is called “gris”. The color of this wine is rosé, thanks to the extended contact with the skins, while the fragrance has shades of red currants, raspberries and pomegranate. Among the winemakers of Ramato, we mention the winery Ronco del Gelso and Sot Lis Rivis wine, produced in the homonymous place.
Ribolla Gialla: Another indigenous grape of Friuli is the Ribolla, which boasts a strong personality, a light yellow color, light body, high acidity and fragrant aromas of exotic fruits, papaya and mango with nutty nuances. It is widespread in Friuli since 1300 (in Slovenia is known as Rebula) and the best results of this variety can be found on hillside vineyards.
Sauvignon: What distinguishes the Sauvignon grapes in Northeast Italy is the lack of aggressive perfumes of nettle and artichoke that are typical in Sauvignon grapes of other countries. In Collio, Colli Orientali del Friuli and Grave areas shows the softer aromas of passion fruit, sage, mint and tomato leaf.
Verduzzo Friulano: You can taste both the dry and the sweet wine of this variety; the thing you should know is that Verduzzo is considered a fine wine, suitable for fish dishes, but also as meditation wine.
The sweet variety is of course a perfect pair with desserts, like another Friuli excellent wine, the Picolit.
To know more peculiarities of Friulian wines, we suggest you to visit the website dedicated to the Collio area www.colliofriulano.it.
Discover the best wines of Friuli, these excellences are a mirror of the uniqueness of this region: a crossroads of cultures, flavors and traditions.