With my next trip to Italy imminent, and to prep “inquiring minds” for some of the native varieties I’ll get to taste, I thought I would give a brief ‘winey’ overview of the region and the native grapes therein.
Despite its size, there is a great deal of native grapes found here! Mostly known for its white native varieties, there are also no shortage of fantastic red grapes found here, which will actually be the focus of the tasting weekend in Cividale del Friuli.
Home to 1.2 million people, FVG is in the northeastern part of Italy and borders Slovenia, Austria and overlooks the Adriatic Sea. The Dolomites are a dominant feature of the region, along with lagoons, long sandy beaches, and rocky outcrops on the coast. The capital is Trieste. For being such a small region, it is filled with rich history, culture, and several UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Supposedly the food is great too, influenced by the Venetian, Slavic and European cultures. I cannot wait to taste some of the local cuisine, dominated I’m sure by much seafood! Plus, we get to taste daily in a castle….it’s tough job I know but someone has to do it…
What I’m most looking forward to though, is the exploration of all those indegenous grapes! And although the focus will be on the red grapes of the region, I’m sure there will be much mention of the whites too, such as (Tocai) Friulano, Ribolla Gialla, Picolit, Malvasia Istriana, Verduzzo and Vitovska.
The red grapes we will be tasting and studying are Pignolo, Schioppettino, Tazzelenghe, Terrano, and the Refosco family of grapes, specifically Refosco del Peduncolo Rosso. And last night I did another Italian tasting here at the store, mostly of northern regions, and featured a Schioppettino, so now I’m even MORE excited to get going! So when I get back, there will be more exploration into these grapes, and some of the more notable producers of the grapes of the region also. Wait for it! 17 hours until take-off! Salute!