The wine producing areas of Friuli and Veneto are the powerhouse of Italian wine production. The distinctive red wines of Valpolicella have a loyal following, but it is the international thirst for its Prosecco sparkling and Pinot Grigio wines that has driven huge growth in recent times.
This large zone in north-east Italy is a relatively cool climate area capable of producing wines of great delicacy and freshness. Many of the most esteemed vineyards are planted at elevation on pretty hills and Alpine foothills, but the largest vineyard area is on coastal plains hugging the Mediterranean, where summers are hotter and more humid. The region experiences cool to very cold winters.
Prosecco is a large DOC where the glera grape is made into bright and flavoursome sparkling wines that are affordable enough for all tables and all occasions, expanding the remit of sparkling wine from special events to the celebration of the everyday. Among the denominations famed for refreshing Pinot Grigio wines are Friuli DOC, Friuli Grave DOC, delle Venezie DOC, Venezia DOC and Venezie Giulia IGP.
The towns and cities in Friuli and Veneto are saturated in the history of art, trade and conquest. Venice, for centuries a centre of world trade and commerce, is now one of the world’s most popular tourism destinations.