Friuli Venezia Giulia
Friuli Venezia Giulia occupies the far northeast corner of the Italian peninsular. It borders with Slovenia to the east and Austria to the north and to the south stretches down to the Gulf of Trieste on the Adriatic. The major wine growing areas are located in the low hills of the Collio and Colli Orientali which are sheltered to the north and east by the Carnia range and the Giulian Alps, and the extensive plains of the Grave del Friuli in the south and west of the region. The climate is conditioned on one hand by the warm air of the Adriatic and on the other by colder currents which arrive from the east. Friuli Venezia Giulia is Italy's leading producer of quality white wines.
The most planted variety is Tocai. Other local white varietals of interest include Ribolla Gialla, Malvasia Istriana, Verduzzo and the rare sweet Piccolit. Of the international varieties Sauvignon, Pinot Bianco and Chardonnay are the most successful. There are quality reds made from Merlot and Cabernet and small productions from the local Pignolo, Refosco and Schioppettino, all of which have distinctive personalities. The total area under vine amounts to around 30,000 hectares and production averages 1.5 million hectolitres a year. Over 40% of the wine made in the region has DOC status.