Flashcards in Friuli- Venezia Giulia Deck (51):
Friuli- Venezia Giulia
Large numbers of varieties grown. Recent revival of red grape growing. Quality vineyards in east region. Hillside sites bordering Slovenia benefit from airflows from the Alps and the Adriatic.
Friuli Grave DOC
Largest quantity of Production. Flat plain vineyards predominately red production, light fruity styles produced from Bordeaux blends. Refosco, local variety giving wines with high acidity, red fruit flavours, developing plum and dark chocolate with age. White blends and single varietals grown on hillside sites, some cask ageing used. High reputation, wines show a crisp fruitiness with a depth of complexity.
Colli Orientali and Collio Coriziano DOC
Steep hillside sites. Expressive white wines. Local and international varieties, including Fruiliano, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Gewürztraminer, Rhine Riesling and Chardonnay. Picot makes prestigious and expensive dessert wine.
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. Friuli’s geographical position on land successively disputed by Romans, Byzantines, Venetians, and Habsburgs ensured that a large number of varieties would be available for planting. The white tocai Friulano, ribolla, malvasia di Istria, verduzzo, picolit and red refosco, schiopettino, pignolo, and the acidic Tazzelenghe are considered indigenous (although see robola, for example). riesling, welschriesling (here called Riesling Italico), traminer, müller-thurgau, and blaufränkisch (locally called Franconia) are imports from Austria. The French varieties pinot bianco, pinot grigio, chardonnay, sauvignon, cabernet, merlot, pinot nero, and carmenère were introduced during the 19th century Habsburg domination (and greatly expanded during the replanting of Friuli’s vineyards after the ravages of phylloxera), a domination which lasted until 1918 in the case of the province of Gorizia. The result has been the multiplicity of single varietal wines in each doc: 18 for the 2,000 ha/ 4,942 acres of the colli orientali, 17 for the 1,500 ha of collio. If the proliferation of DOC wines with varietal names attached to specific zones has created some confusion among consumers, the geography of Friuli’s DOC structure is actually fairly easy to understand. Udine marks the northern border beyond which low temperatures make viticulture an impractical proposition in most cases: to the south of Udine exist two distinct bands of territory for the growing of grapes: the two hillside DOCs of Colli Orientali and Collio with calcareous marl soils, and the alluvial plain with plentiful quantities of sand, pebbles, and rocks deposited by the various rivers—the Tagliamento, the Natisone, the Judrio, the Isonzo—which criss-cross the plain. These flatlands are divided into five DOCs, moving from west to east: lison-pramaggiore (shared with Veneto), latisana, grave del friuli, aquileia, and isonzo. The hillside vineyards give wines of greater personality. The white, and red, wines of this latter zone have shown a real suitability for small barrel maturation. Isonzo, which borders on Collio, stands out among the DOCs of the plain and, in the 1990s, began to produce wines which, from the best producers, can challenge those of the hillsides. The region’s overall production was about 2.2 million hl in 2011, more than twice as much as its challenger as a source of crisp international varietals trentino-alto adige. Plans exist to elevate the entire region of Friuli-Venezia-Giulia to DOC, although the advantages of doing so are unclear.
Del Friuli, literally the eastern hills of the friuli region in north-east Italy, comprise about 2,000 ha/4,942 acres of vineyard. The territory of the DOC begins, as its name implies, to the east of the city of Udine near the slovenian border and continues to the border of the province of Udine. The dividing line between the Colli Orientali and Collio is neither geological nor climatic, but simply historical: Udine and its province became part of Italy in 1866 while the neighbouring area of Collio, in the province of Gorizia, was not reunified with the rest of Italy until the end of the First World War. The contiguous zones in fact have the same sort of soil: the so-called ‘flysch of Cormons’, with alternating strata of calcareous marls and sandstone. Wine has a documented history here, as in most parts of Italy, since the days of the Roman empire, but the zone first began to attract significant attention in the 1970s, when cold fermentation techniques began to produce here, and in the Collio DOC, significant quantities of fresh, fruity, and aromatic white wines, predominantly based on international varieties, especially Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc, pioneering efforts for Italy. Significant development of red wines came in the 1980s as producers began to move away from lighter, fruitier styles, while planting Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Pinot Noir, producing a fuller, more structured style, frequently aged in small oak barrels for the then prevalent international taste for such wine. A certain number of these reds were released as an ambitiously priced vino da tavola, because individual producers wanted to either distance the wines from their allegedly more facile antecedents, or to make an unorthodox blend of varieties, or, more often than not, to copy the international success of the highly priced supertuscans. White versions, particularly from Chardonnay or Pinot Bianco, were also either fermented or aged in barriques and these wines were also marketed as vini da tavola to distinguish them from the fresher style of whites, which remained the backbone of production. This century, increased international competition has kindled renewed interest in Colli Orientali’s unique indigenous varieties, linked to five subzones where historically these local varieties were cultivated: Cialla for ribolla Gialla, verduzzo, refosco dal penduncolo rosso, and schioppettino; Rosazzo for Ribolla Gialla and pignolo; Prepotto for Schioppettino; and Faedis for a scented local grape known as Refosco Nostrano. Although international varietal wines, especially whites, still prevail, producers have begun to focus on the specifics of local terroirs instead of producing a certain wine style to order. The red Schioppettino, saved from extinction in the 1970s, is now cultivated by 22 producers who have founded an association dedicated to its promotion. Colli Orientali del Friuli has not one but two historic sweet wines, based on the local white Verduzzo and picolit grapes, either late harvest or dried-grape wines which can be complex and long-lived, their greatness recognized by their elevation to DOCG. DOCG Colli Orientali del Friuli Picolit includes the subzone Cialla, while DOCG Ramandolo applies to sweet Verduzzo and more or less covers the same area as DOC Colli Orientali Friuli. Although Verduzzo is planted throughout Friuli and in parts of neighbouring veneto, nowhere else produces wines as great as Ramandolo.
Grave del Friuli
Vast DOC zone in the friuli region of north-east Italy which sprawls across the southern portion of the provinces of Pordenone and Udine (with the largest portion in the former). This is flatland whose gravel- and sand-based soil has been deposited over the millennia by the many rivers and streams that cross the territory before adding their waters to the Adriatic. It owes its name to the same etymological root as the gravelly graves region of Bordeaux in France. The DOC, with 4,300 ha/10,620 acres of vineyard, is responsible for more than 50% of Friuli’s output, and is so large (it includes seven out of the ten Friuli DOCs) that it is more akin to an igt than anything else. Exceptionally high permitted yields (13 tonnes/ha or 91 hl/ha) make it difficult to see how the DOC contributes to good-quality wine production here. And although it encapsulates other, smaller DOCs, their production rules are generally not much more restrictive so that Grave del Friuli cannot even be used by producers for declassified wines. Almost all international varieties are grown here, with piercingly herbaceous Sauvignon Blanc once being the DOC’s flagship but now encountering fierce international competition. That is not to say that the DOC is unsuitable for the production of high-quality wines, but its formidable size precludes generalizations.
Is a group of distinct red varieties cultivated in north east Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia producing very similar wines. The finest variety is known in Friuli as refosco dal peduncolo rosso but others include Refosco d’Istria (also called teran, Terrano, and Refošk).
Promising red grape variety native to the friuli region of north east Italy, probably first cultivated in the hills of Rosazzo in the colli orientali. Pignolo is a very shy bearer and it was generally ignored by local growers who preferred other, more productive grape varieties until, like schioppettino, it was given a new lease of life by a eu decree of 1978 authorizing its use in the province of Udine. Total plantings of Pignolo Nero were only 93 ha/230 acres according to the 2010 vine census.
Old Friulan name for sauvignonasse, now replaced by friulano. California grows a few hundred acres of the variety they still call Tocai Friulano which is also produced by Millbrook in the Hudson Valley, new york. Tocai Rosso is used as a synonym for grenache noir in the veneto.
White grape variety also known as Ribolla Gialla to distinguish it from the less interesting Ribolla Verde, best known in friuli in north east Italy but also grown, as Rebula, in slovenia. It is distinct from the robola of the island of Cephalonia in greece. Ribolla's first historically documented appearance in Friuli was in 1296, as Rabola. The grape lost ground steadily in the 19th and 20th centuries, however, in the wake of the phylloxera epidemic and Friuli's subsequent enthusiasm for international (French) varieties when vineyards were replanted. In the mid 1990s, Ribolla accounted for less than 1% of all the white doc wines of Friuli, but by 2010, Italy's total plantings were 435 ha/1,075 acres, and there were champions of the variety on both sides of the Slovenian border. Rosazzo and Oslavia are generally considered Friuli's two classic areas for Ribolla Gialla but there is even more planted in western Slovenia, in both Brda and Vipava. Extended contact with the variety's particularly yellow skins is increasingly common and the wine produced can have firm structure and, neatly, yellow-fruit flavours. Ribolla Nera is the schioppettino grape.
Wine made from verduzzo friulano and/or verduzzo trevigiano, principally in friuli and in the piave DOC in the bordering province of Treviso in Veneto in seven different DOC zones: aquileia, colli orientali, grave, isonzo, Latisana, friuli Annia, and lison-pramaggiore. Only the Grave and the Colli Orientali produce significant quantities and the latter is qualitatively far superior, the grape showing a decided preference for hillside vineyards. The wine exists in a dry, occasionally sparkling, and regularly sweet version, although the latter, obtained either by late harvesting or by raisining the grapes (see dried-grape wines), can frequently be more medium dry than lusciously sweet. Sweet Verduzzo, less common than dry Verduzzo, is the more interesting wine, golden in colour, and often with a delightful density and honeyed aromas, even if it lacks the complexity of an outstanding dessert wine. Dry Verduzzo is less characterful, and the grapes’ tannins often impart an odd astringency which is more noticeable when it has been fermented dry. Ramandolo, to the north of Udine, is considered the classic zone for fine sweet Verduzzo, but the Colli Orientali di Friuli DOC, when first established, permitted the use of the name Ramandolo for any sweet Verduzzo in the production zone, converting, as it were, a place-name into a generic name. This anomaly has been corrected with the establishment of a separate Ramandolo DOCG for generally sweet wines, with maximum yields of 8 tonnes/ha (as opposed to the 11 tonnes/ha permitted for Colli Orentali Verduzzo) from anywhere in the Colli Orientali di Friuli zone.
Also written Piccolit and Piccolito in the past, fashionable and audaciously priced sweet white varietal wine made in the friuli region of north east Italy, one of the more commercially successful of the dried-grape wines. The grape variety derives its name from the small, or piccolo, quantity of grapes it produces, thanks to its exceptionally poor pollination rate in the vineyard. The variety probably originates in Rosazzo in the colli orientali. The wine was already famous in the 18th century but was almost extinct when the Perusini family of the Rocca Bernarda of Ipplis worked to identify and then reproduce hardier clones with a reduced failure rate. Some better estates still make the wine much as it was in the past—Fabio Asquini left copious notes on his working methods—with the bunches, harvested late in mid October, left to dry and raisin on mats before pressing. Other producers have opted for a late-harvest style, with the grapes left even longer in the vineyard, picked with higher must weights, but not raisined after picking. The use of small oak barrel maturation is an innovation introduced in the mid 1980s. Although Picolit is generally considered a dessert wine, it is not luscious and is best considered a vino da meditazione, a wine to be sipped alone in order to appreciate its delicate floral aromas and its light sweetness which suggests peaches and apricots. The wine became the object of a cult enthusiasm in Italy in the late 1960s and 1970s, fetching extremely high prices that non-Italian connoisseurs find difficult to understand or justify; the Picolit boom has also resulted in frequent and illegal blending of the wine with the more neutral verduzzo, which has stretched the quantities available but has done no service to the wine’s reputation. The Italian vine census of 2010 found only just over 125 ha/309 acres of the variety in total. A small amount is grown in western Slovenia.
Friuli- Venezia Giulia- History
Historical change of hands between Roman, Byzantines, Venetians and Habsburgs -> vast array of varieties
Until late 60s: little commercial history in wine
Late 60s: Mario Schiopetto introduced Friuli to temperature control along with German wine-making philosophy o1980-90s: innovative fresh varietal styles + Pinot Grigio craze. Oak-aged whites coming out since mid 90s.
Friuli- Venezia Giulia- Climate and Weather
Cool continental with cold winters and hot summers
West of Udine (formerly conquered by Venitians) – sunshine and 15C avg annual temp
East of Udine: air flow from the Alps and Adriatic sea creates cooling effect & higher diurnal temperature range
High rainfall w 1,500mm/yr
Friuli- Venezia Giulia- Topography and Soils
Extreme North-east of Italy, on hillsides bordering Austria (north) and Slovenia (east) oNorthern half is mountainous while the terrains get flatter on the plains towards the sea
2 vineyard bands:
- Northern hillsides (i.e. Colli Orientali & Collio): soils are calcareous marls w layers of sandstone
- Plains with 5 DOCs crisscrossed by rivers: soils are mainly sand, clay and gravel
Best vineyards located on the south-facing slopes at the foothills of the Alps in the east
Friuli- Venezia Giulia- Merlot
In Friuli since 1800s
Most are simple, fruity, often leafy
Best are dense & concentrated
Friuli- Venezia Giulia- Cabernet Franc
Herbal, earthy cherry-scented reds
Often made in Bordeaux style
Friuli- Venezia Giulia- Cabernet Sauvignon
Mix of Californian and Bordeaux
Most with distinct tarry, smoky Italian
Friuli- Venezia Giulia- Refosco dal peduncolo rosso
Refosco: most planted native grape producing often light, purple and Beaujolais like wines
This is the best clone; vigorous late ripening variety w good resistance to rain and rot.
Cultivated in the hillside vineyards & flatter parts
Gives deeply coloured wine with medium to full body, high acidity plum flavours
Best in Colli oriental
Friuli- Venezia Giulia- Pignolo
Promising native grape from Colli Orientali
Low yielding but high quality
Deep coloured, it makes some of the
most densest and ageworthy reds in Friuli
Friuli- Venezia Giulia- Schioppettino
Rare native grape
Deeply coloured, medium body, hi
tannins, Syrah-like flavours with violet
and peppery notes
Mainly in Prepotto (Colli Orientali)
Friuli- Venezia Giulia- Other Red Grapes
Friuli- Venezia Giulia- Friulano (Sauvignonasse)
20% of all plantings
Most planted in Friuli and North-east of Italy
Previously called Tocai (banned since 07)
Light-coloured & -bodied wines w hi acidity and stone fruit (peach/pear) as well as floral aromas and notes of almond; to be drunk young
What percentage of red grapes are in Friuli- Venezia Giulia?
What percentage of white grapes are white in Friuli- Venezia Giulia?
Friuli- Venezia Giulia- Pinot Grigio
Friuli’s Pinot Grigios are the best in Italy: fuller, rounder, nuttier than typical neutral style
Friuli- Venezia Giulia- Sauvignon Blanc
From grassy and Loire-like to richer, peachier characters
Friuli- Venezia Giulia- Chardonnay
Best have a mineral flintiness and creamy texture similar to Burgundy whites
Friuli- Venezia Giulia- Pinot Bianco
Hi acidity, slightly spritzig non aromatic white for early consumption
Better used as blending grape but some good examples of varietal bottlings
Friuli- Venezia Giulia- Picolit
Native grape used as a dried grape for dessert or meditation wines w delicate floral aromas, light sweetness and peaches/apricots flavours
Mainly grown in Rosazzo, its original home
Friuli- Venezia Giulia- Ribolla Gialla
Old native grape that makes light bodied wines w high acidity, delicate floral and appley aromas
Friuli- Venezia Giulia- Malvasia Istriana
Finest of the Malvasia complex family
Deep coloured, hi alcohol & aromatic w hints of apricots and nuts
Mainly for Collio and Isonzo DOCs
Friuli- Venezia Giulia- Verduzzo
Produced in 6 different DOCs of Friuli but production is concentrated in Grave and Colli Orientali
Sweet Verduzzo is more interesting vs. dry Verduzzo which can have an odd astringency due to the grapes’ tannins; lemony flavours
Friuli- Venezia Giulia- Other White Grapes
Muller Thurgau, Prosecco
Friuli- Venezia Giulia- Viticulture
19,000ha of area under vine. Lowest average yield in Italy w 5t/ha
High trellising system/pergolas
Friuli- Venezia Giulia- Winemaking
White winemaking: The region pioneered modern techniques (metodo Friulano): cold fermentation, refrigeration, pneumatic presses, stainless steel fermentation, etc. to prevent oxidation
Generally, the emphasis is placed on preserving the primary fruit flavours and acidity (//Alsace)
Red winemaking: small barrel maturation in Colli Orientali
Friuli- Venezia Giulia- Key Appellations and Characteristics
11 DOC, 3 DOCG (for sweet wines) and 3 IGT
2 main areas for commercial (Friuli) and premium quality (east)
Friuli- Venezia Giulia- Friuli Grave DOC- 6,500 ha
Largest DOC in production quantity (more vs. sum of all others Friuli DOCs); mostly in the western part of Udine
Flatland w gravel & sand-based soils
Predominantly light, fruit reds made from Merlot/Bordeaux blends or hi acidity Refosco
Fresh and aromatic whites made from Friulano, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Bianco and Sauv. Blanc (herbaceous)
Friuli- Venezia Giulia- Collio DOC, Colli Orientali DOC and Collio Goriziano
Steep hillside sites at the North-eastern border with Slovenia w flysch soils (mineral rich)
Hot summers but at the foothills of the Alps where the cool winds off the Adriatic sea moderate
Some vineyards going across the border to Slovenia are allowed to carry the Collio designation
White varieties tend to be grown on the northern slopes & the red varieties on southern slopes
80% of white wine with some of Italy’s best white wines
oHi alcohol, full bodied wines made as varietal or blend of Friulano, Ribolla Gialla, Malvasia Istriana, Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco or Sauvignon blanc. Some aged in barriques
Collio Rosso DOC: Bordeaux blend
Collio Bianco DOC: blend that can include lower quality white grapes e.g. Muller-Thurgau o Collio Orientali DOC tend to be more varietal
Prestigious and premium-priced Picolit dessert wine has 2 DOCG here.
Friuli- Venezia Giulia- Production
1m hl/yr production w 60% of production in DOC wines
Le Vigne di Zamo – Colli Orientali
45ha vineyard w state of the art winery; the full-bodied Cinquant’Anni Friulano is the signature wine
Josko Gravner – Collio Goriziano
Grower producer with 17.5ha; earned his reputation at top fine white wine producer by producing oak-aged
Chardonnays in the 80s; now making wines from gigantic earthenware amphorae it its winery - The wines are oxidised, concentrated and not representative at all of Friuli styles
Friuli- Venezia Giulia- Vintages
Vintage less relevant as most wines meant to be drunk young. 2000, 2001 & 2004 are top vintages
Isonzo del Friuli
Small doc in the extreme north east of Italy in the friuli region overlapping with the collio zone. The plain to the south of the Collio hills formed by the Isonzo River on its way to the Adriatic is, from a geological point of view, split in two. The left bank of the Isonzo River, the part closest to the sea, is like grave del friuli a mixture of gravel and soil formed by fluvial and glacial deposits. The subzone on the right bank, inland towards colli orientali, is a less fertile red gravel, and produces Isonzo’s finest wines. This distinction has been recognized in the DOC regulations since 2003, with wines from the right bank being entitled to put Rive Alte on the label, while those from the left bank can use the subzone Rive di Giare. Wines labelled with the Rive Alte subzone must be made from Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Friulano, and/or Merlot. Rive di Giare must be made from Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Malvasia Istriana, Refosco dal Penduncolo Rosso, and/or Merlot. The zone included just over 900 ha/2,223 acres of doc vineyard in the early 2010s. As in the rest of Friuli, the wines tend to be produced as varietals. The whites are generally fresh, simple and fruity, while the reds are soft and forward, both colours often determined by the still very high yields of between 12 and 13 tonnes/ha allowed here Practically all white wine grapes may also be used to produce a late-harvest or a sweet dried-grape wine, while rosés may either be varietal or a blend of white and red wine. The flat plains of Isonzo, encircled by mountains to the north and east and running into the sea in the south, have long persuaded outsiders that the zone is little different from its southern neighbour, Grave del Friuli. However, the good drainage provided by the gravel soils, and a gap in the mountains to the north east, through which flows a cool moderating breeze, sets it apart from Grave. In the past, some of Friuli’s top producers bought grapes in Isonzo. The high prices paid for the grapes held back the emergence of the zone’s producers, but today the likes of Vie di Romans, Lis Neris, Pierpaolo Pecorari, Ronco del Gelso, Mauro Drius, Borgo San Daniele, and I Feudi di Romans are producing wines that rival the best from the rest of Friuli.
Small doc consisting of just 53 ha of vineyards in friuli in north-east Italy, on a gravelly plateau between Gorizia and Trieste and bordering slovenia. A smaller subzone, called Terrano Classico, is situated immediately around the city of Trieste. The DOC produces mainly dark, tannic reds high in acidity made from the Terrano grape (see teran), which responds well to barrel maturation. Terrano is often confused with refosco dal penducolo rosso, which is also allowed in the Carso DOC, in addition to international varieties such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, glera, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Perfumed red grape variety native to the friuli region of north east Italy, also known as Ribolla Nera but unrelated to ribolla gialla. In spite of official attempts to encourage its replanting, Schioppettino was substantially neglected after the phylloxera epidemic of the late 19th century in favour of the new imports from France: Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon. It seemed destined to disappear until an eu decree of 1978 authorized its cultivation in the province of Udine (see also pignolo). The wine is deeply coloured, medium bodied, with an attractively aromatic richness hinting at violets combined with a certain peppery quality reminiscent of the rhône. Although vine plantings and therefore wine production are still limited, and concentrated in the colli orientali, the potential seems notable. Prepotto close to Slovenia where, as Pokalca, it has virtually disappeared, is considered its elective home, but quite good quality has also come from the Buttrio-Manzano area. By 2010 total plantings had increased from 96 ha in 2000 to 154 ha/381 acres.
A lesser-known doc from friuli comprising the entire province of Udine. The white must consist of at least 50% friulano, while the Rosso must contain at least 50% refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso. The balance in both can be any authorized variety, most of which are international varieties, potentially compromising the wines’ originality.
DOC Carso (Friuli)
- Shared with Slovenia (known as Kras)
- Small area with strict appellation regulations
What are the key red and white grapes of Friuli?
Fruilano (known a Tocai Friulano until Hungary got mad)
Ribolla Gialla (longest history in the area)
Malvasia (Malvasia Istriana)
Consorzio di Tutela Vini del Collio...
Was one of the first winemaking associations in Italy. It was so successful in promoting the wines of Friuli, that fours years after its establishment Collio received DOC status (1968).
When was the first real change in Friuli winemaking?
1965 when Mario Schiopetto (who was fireman) decided to make wine very similar to German and Austrian winemaking. He adopted: old fermentation and selected yeasts, kept his cellars clean, and aged his wines in stainless steel. Both temperature and oxygen were carefully controlled during each step of the process.
Sasa Radikon, who has taken over for his father since Stanko’s death late last year....
macerates his grapes for a more modest 30 days up to a few months, then ages the juice for about three years on the lees prior to bottling.