Friuli Venezia Giulia
Located at the most north-eastern point of Italy, Friuli-Venezia Giulia is an autonomous region with a rich history given its geographic, ethnic, and cultural location as a frontier hub between central Europe to the north, the Slav regions to the east, and the Italian Peninsula to the west and south. The winemaking history of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia has been strongly influenced by the history of the Friuli and Venezia Giulia regions, which were important stops along the Mediterranean spice route from the Byzantine Empire to the trading centre of Venice. Friuli-Venezia Giulia is very mountainous in the north, and gives way to flatter terrain and plains near the sea. The climate is distinguished by warm days and chilly nights which help to maintain a balance in grape acidity and sugar levels, allowing the grapes a long, slow growing season. Harvest normally takes place in September. The soils of the region vary from the calcium rich sandstone in the more hilly regions to clay, sand, and gravel in the valley. Most of the vineyards of Friuli-Venezia Giulia are located in the southern half of the region, including the large wine regions of Collio Goriziano, Colli Orientali del Friuli, Isonzo and Carso. The Lison-Pramaggiore region is shared with Veneto. Smaller regions such as the Annia, Aquileia, Grave and Latisana are located in the central and western part of the region around the city of Pordenone. These smaller regions are located on alluvial plains with soils composed of gravel and sand. Drawing from native grape varieties as well as the international array, Friulians have applied studied vineyard techniques and avantgarde oenology to the production of highly distinctive whites, as well as some attractive reds. Though wine production represents only 2% of the Italian output, the white wines from Collio are considered amongst the best in Italy.