(free-oo-lee veh-netz-ee-ah gwee-yee-ah)
The furthest east of the Tre-Venezie, Friuli-Venezia Giulia (usually just called Friuli) is celebrated for its zingy and zesty whites. Hugging the alps and the Austrian border, the climate here is cool and the vines are planted on the hillsides, allowing for more sun exposure. The cool temperatures of the region result in the lively acidity found in the wine. Colli Orientali del Friuli and the Collio are the most recognized regions here – they are located just on the border of Slovenia.
Successful grapes of the Friuli include Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio
and Sauvignon Blanc
. Then of course, there's the famed local variety, Tocai Friulano (not any relation to Tokay d'Alsace or Tokay of Hungary), which produces wine that is floral and nutty in character but light-bodied. Ribolla Gialla, another white grape making wine with the floral notes and acidity common to the region - it is a delicious alternative to the international varieties of the area. Reds are not to be forgotten, although found less often. Merlot is the most planted, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and few indigenous varieties. Most exports are white.