Yet another Native Grape paradise

A little light info to get us all started on FRIULI VENEZIA GIULIA

Regional Vineyard:

Total Vineyard Size

19,454 hectares is the total size of the regional vineyard including vineyards producing grapes for Quality wines, Table wines & Table grapes

Dedicated to Quality

Of the total, 15,177 hectares are dedicated to producing grapes for Quality wines.

Notable Cru/Zones:


Famous for its red, iron rich rocky soils, it’s home to red variety TERRANO and white variety VITOVSKA. The own of Prosecco is located just outside of the city of Trieste. That’s another story.

Collio Goriziano*

Home to some of Italy’s finest whites. Lots of international varieties grown but happily also many native ones too, including Ribolla Gialla, whose native home is in or around these parts. Could it be Oslavia ?

Friuli Annia*

Small area south of Udine that runs down to the Sea. Again predominantly international varieties. But the natives get a look in particularly with Refosco.

Friuli Aquileia*

Ancient Roman forum of great significance that produces nice Reds, mostly international varieties. But happily also including Friuli’s native Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso

Friuli Colli Orientali*

This is a busy area. Home to 2 DOCG sweet wines – both produced from native white grapes PICOLIT & VERDUZZO FRIULANO. There are also Sottozone/ SubCRU for native varieties PIGNOLO, SCHIOPPETTINO, REFOSCO di FAEDIS & RIBOLLA GIALLA. Also home to the regions most recent DOCG addition – Rosazzo Bianco (native+international blend)

Friuli Grave*

Biggest area under vine in the region.

Friuli Isonzo*

Renowned for its fresh, elegant, mineral driven whites, international white varieties shine here as they do in the Collio

Friuli Latisana*

Relatively small production area with a 50:50 split between native and international grape varieties.

Lison Pramaggiore*

Mostly international red & white varietes


Friuli now shares the interregional Prosecco DOC with Veneto. Interesting the town of Prosecco is located in Friuli (near Trieste). Is the true home of the Prosecco grape, now known as Glera ? We all need to know, don’t we.

Wine Style/Quality:

% Red


% White



In 2013 Friuli Venezia Giulia saw 90.6% of its wines produced according to European DOP Quality standards. These protect the quality & origin of each wine. Friuli produces 14 DOP wines of which, *4 DOCG (1 interregional with Veneto) & *10 DOC (1 interregional with Veneto). 3 IGP wines account for 9% of production. Table wines/Table grapes account for a mere 0.4% of output. Awesome quality stats.


Friuli is one of Italy’s Native Grape hot beds. As a region famed the world over for producing top whites, it has a remarkable number of native red grape varieties showing great promise. Our listing below covers the principal native varieties that we intend to track down. Naturally as we make our discovery, we’ll keep you posted :-)



Emilio Bulfon is the principal maker



This variety shows a lot of promise.
Once again check out Emilio & Lorenzo Bulfon


Thanks to the Bulfon family we once again have a monovarietal Fumat to appreciate. Produced using the innovative Ganimede stainless steel fermentors, Fumat is steadily rebuilding its fanbase, including THENATIVEGRAPES.


With only one monovarietal reserve produced by the Marco Scolaris winery, this is an extremely rare find. For those who still have small parcels here and there, it’s mostly a blending partner.

Piccola Nera

Piculit Neri*

Emilio & Lorenzo Bulfon are the go-to reference for this appealing age-worthy red.


An ever increasing number of producers are finally putting this variety on the map. Often considered quite tannic in its youth, this is a seriously age-worthy red and one to keep a very close eye on. Regular tastings confirm how these wines begin to excel once they pass 10 years of age.

Refosco dal Penduncolo Rosso*

This native red is perhaps Friuli’s instant crowd pleaser. Huge potential. Makes youthful reds but its the aged, evolutionary style that really puts this on a par with the big international players. A real must.

Refosco di Faedis*

One of the Refosco family, native to the townland of Faedis. Need to know more.


Super red variety that is growing in prominence with each vintage. Now has its own Sottozona /Cru in its native home of Prepotto in Friuli’s eastern hills (Colli Orientali) bordering Slovenia. Worthy. Seek this one out.


Great name, loosely translated as the ‘tongue cutter’. Due to its natural vibrant acidity, it requires a little time and gentle persuasion. Only a handful of producers keeping this one alive. And with promising results too. Don’t hesitate if you find one. Snap it up straight away.


Part of the Refosco family, this native red is found in Carso. Youthful and a little rustic but has its fans. Worth a shot.



Rare, Emilio Bulfon is as far as we know the only winemaker to be producing a monovarietal Cividin. Characterful.


Truly special native white variety producing exceptionally HQ 100% mono-varietal sweet wines. There are a few winemakers who also ferment it dry and use it in some unique local blends.

Ribolla Gialla*

Take your pick. Ribolla Gialla is showing great versality as a Mono-varietal sparkling or youthful fresh dry white or as a macerato ‘orange wine’ with short,medium and lengthy skin contact. Also highly prevalent in the Brda area of Slovenia, which is just across the border from Italy’s Collio Goriziano. In Slovenia the variety is known as Rebula.


Wonderful native white producing still and most recently sparking wines. Bulfon is as always the reference for the lesser known varieties

Verduzzo Friulano*

Yet another native variety that is fermented dry for blending or late harvested to make one of Friuli’s great passito sweet wines Ramandolo.


Like the Ribolla Gialla, Vitovska is a native white variety, this time from the Carso region. Stamping its identity on youthful, oak aged and orange style wines. This is definitely one for the future. Stay tuned.

Malvasia Istriana*

Coming from Istria, most of which is now on the other side of Italy’s international frontier with Slovenia, this variety has always historically been considered a native in Friuli Venezia Guilia. PLantings are on the increase in the last 10 years so expect to see it more regularly. Delicious and distinctive.


a.k.a Sauvignonasse from France (Bordeaux area). In Friuli, it produces outstanding ageworthy wines. Embedded in regional history & tradition for more than a century, it is absolutely considered ‘one of their own’. Formerly known as Tocai, in 2007 European law required its name to be officially changed to Friulano. A long story and one worth knowing and understanding. Outstanding potential.


Most commonly found as a sweet wine but now also vinified dry by our friend Emilio Bulfon once again! Wonderful


  • ISTAT – Italy’s Istituto Nazionale delle Statistiche (Census 2010 / Vineyard Production Figures 2013)
  • AIS – The Association of Italian Sommeliers.
  • ‘I Numeri del Vino’ – top Italian blog from Marco Baccaglio
  • Wine Grapes – Robinson, Harding & Vouillamoz
  • Native Wine Grapes of Italy – D’Agata

*All data is offered as a helpful guide. Naturally it’s updated yearly. We do our best to stay informed :)

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