Winegrowing in Friuli-Venezia Giulia has been proven since the Bronze Age, thus for 3000 years. The Friuli-Venezia Giulia wine region, mostly Friuli, is located between Austria, Slovenia and the Veneto region. The capital of the region is Trieste. Although the region has historically been under changeable influence and was often involved in warfare, wine has been grown continuously since ancient times. Through improved cellar methods such as chilled fermentation, the area has risen to arguably the best white wine region in Italy, although still red wine is grown.
The slopes of the Julian Alps shield the Friuli from cold winds from the mountains and from Russia, so the vines are safe from the dreaded late frosts. The warm air currents from the Venetian lagoon cause significantly higher temperatures than in the hinterland. This sandwich situation is a big advantage. The warm winds also ventilate the moisture from the vineyards. Most precipitation occurs in winter and spring, so the vines are not damaged. Through the hot summers, the winemakers usually reap relatively early.
Fifty million years ago, Friuli was a sea basin with mud and silt deposited on its floor, gradually covering the coral reefs. With the geological formation of the Alps, the plain finally lifted as limestone above the sea level. These barren stone stratifications called ponca can be seen throughout the region. Due to the pressure of their own weight, the small-scale sands compacted, but the structures disintegrate again in the air to small stones. This makes the soil loose, mineral and nutrient poor. All three properties are ideal for grapevines. In the western part of the region, a broad plain extends from alluvial soils, where rivers have deposited silicate stones. Above all, better everyday wines, often Pinot Grigios, are produced there. Lighter wines are also produced between Palmanova and Aquileia, where sandy soils and larger wineries predominate.