Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
Located in the northeastern part of Italy, Friuli-Venezia Giulia is a region known for its exceptional wines and stunning landscapes. The region borders Austria and Slovenia, infusing it with a unique blend of Italian and Central European influences. Friuli is celebrated for its elegant white wines, particularly the mineral-driven and aromatic wines made from grapes like Friulano, Ribolla Gialla, and Sauvignon Blanc. It also produces notable reds like Refosco and Schioppettino. The region's wine production is characterized by meticulous craftsmanship and a commitment to quality, making it a favorite among wine enthusiasts.
Friuli-Venezia Giulia is situated in the northeastern corner of Italy. The regional capital is Trieste, which has its international airport with connections to major European cities. The region is well-connected by train and road networks, making it easily accessible from other parts of Italy and neighboring countries.
Wines of the region
Friuli is renowned for its diverse range of wines. The white wines take center stage, with Friulano offering floral and almond notes, Ribolla Gialla showcasing crisp acidity and citrus flavors, and Sauvignon Blanc delivering vibrant aromatics. The region also produces notable red wines, including the indigenous Refosco and the complex, age-worthy Schioppettino. Additionally, Friuli is known for its exceptional sparkling wines and dessert wines.
Wineries to explore
Some of the renowned wineries in Friuli include Livio Felluga, Jermann, and Ronco del Gnemiz. These wineries offer guided tours, tastings, and a chance to learn about the winemaking process. For off the beaten track experiences, consider visiting smaller, family-owned wineries like Radikon, Gravner, and Vignai da Duline, which focus on natural and biodynamic winemaking practices. These hidden gems provide unique and intimate experiences, often showcasing ancient winemaking traditions.
Friuli's gastronomy is as captivating as its wines. The region is known for its rich culinary heritage, influenced by Italian, Austrian, and Slavic traditions. Local dishes include frico (a crispy cheese and potato dish), jota (a hearty bean and sauerkraut soup), and prosciutto di San Daniele (cured ham). When it comes to dining, notable restaurants in the region include Trattoria Al Cacciatore in San Daniele del Friuli, Osteria ai Cacciatori in Cormons, and Trattoria da Leo in Gorizia. These establishments offer an authentic taste of Friuli's culinary delights.
Beyond wine and cuisine, Friuli offers a wealth of cultural activities. Explore the charming towns of Udine and Gorizia, known for their historic architecture and vibrant local markets. Visit the stunning Miramare Castle near Trieste, which offers breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea. Delve into the region's history at the archaeological site of Aquileia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Outdoor enthusiasts can indulge in hiking, cycling, and exploring the beautiful Julian Alps and the picturesque vineyards that dot the landscape.