The region of Friuli Venezia Giulia is located on the north-eastern tip of Italy and was one of the last areas to join the Italian State after reunification in 1918. Engulfed between the Adriatic coast to the south and the pine-covered alps in the north, the region bolsters the Friulian plains and Giulian plateaux. The region borders its Latin culture to those of Germanic and Slavic nations. Originally settled by the Roman Empire, the region has seen many kingdoms arrive into its lands all leaving their cultural and architectural mark which still thrive today. Those include the Goths, Huns, Lombards and Franks. During both World Wars, the region of Friuli Venezia Giulia was heavily involved as it acted as a front for Italy. This can be evidently seen in the town of Gorizia, located on the eastern border, which saw it divided by the ‘Iron Curtain’ between Italy and Yugoslavia under the Eastern Bloc. Today, signs can still be found in Slovene as well as monuments of Yugoslav partisans. South of Gorizia we find the regions capital and host for the International Wine Tourism Conference 2020; Trieste. It is nested between the Adriatic Sea and Slovenia within the regions southern tip. Originally it was a minor roman and medieval town with little importance until the 18th century. In the 1700s the Empress of the Austria-Hungarian Empire saw the city as an opportunity to construct a port. The faded and grandeur of its homogeneous neoclassical architecture is owned completely to this decision and saw the end of its medieval architecture. The port became a trading point for many bordering nations, however in 1918 the port city fell into decline once more upon reunification with the Italian State. Its government saw the city as no match for its southern ports. Today the city and its port are growing with many oil tankers unloading there to supply a pipeline to Austria.
Although the region is relatively small compared to the rest of Italy, it ranks among the best for producers of white wines. There are 11 DOC and 3 DOCG areas that grow some thirty different grape varieties with nearly 62% of wine produced falls under a DOC designation. Having mentioned above, the region’s historical ownership and trading status has influenced its winemaking history. During the Middle Ages, merchants brought grapevines from Macedonia and under Habsburg rule, the French varieties were introduced. However, winemaking did not garner much international attention until the 1970s with the growing popularity of Pinot grigio. The region’s soils are diverse, varying from the calcium rich marl and flysch sandstone in the hillier areas to clay, sand and gravel in the valley. That is why most vineyards are located in the southern half of the region. Finally, there are several wine regions within Friuli Venezia Giulia with the predominant ones being – Collio, Goriziano, Colli Orientali del Friuli, Isonzo and Carso.
Article by Jethro Swift.
The IWINETC 2020 two day conference and one day B2B Workshop will take place from 24 – 26 March at Stazione Marittima Conference Hall, Molo Bersaglieri 3 – 34124 Trieste (Italy) and is supported by PromoTurismoFVG. Registration open. For more information, visit: www.iwinetc.com