South Tyrol/Trentino/Friuli – viticulture between Italy and Austria
Wine has been cultivated in the Friuli region in the very north-east of Italy since ancient times. The many changing influences and wars in which Friuli has been involved in the course of history did no more to change this than the advent of pests in the 19th century. Quality has improved since the 1970s. Improved cellaring methods such as chilled fermentation, which was first used in Friuli, have made it the best white wine region in Italy.South Tyrol and Trentino are officially considered to be a single winegrowing region. South Tyrol (Alto Adige) is the northern part, Trentino the southern. The Dolomites, forests, glacial lakes and the river Adige shape the area, where altitudes range from 200 to 1,000 metres. Viticulture here produces some of the best results in Italy. South Tyrol and Trentino are often referred to separately, because viticulture in the two areas is not the same. In Trentino, for example, the climate is warmer and there are fewer steep slopes, enabling a wide diversity of grape varieties to be grown on a large area.Nature favours viticulture in Friuli. Bordering Austria to the north, Slovenia to the east, the Adriatic Sea to the south and Veneto to the west, this region is so well shielded from cold winds by the slopes of the Julian Alps that the vines are not threatened by late frosts. At the same time warm breezes from Veneto increase temperatures and humidity in the vineyards. This climate has a positive effect on winegrowing in Friuli, resulting in both white and red wines that are fruity and elegant.
Favourable conditions for viticulture: geography and climate
Grape varieties in the Friuli/South Tyrol/Trentino wine region
- Tocai Friulano
- Pinot bianco and grigio
- Sauvignon Blanc
- Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc
- Pinot nero
Popular wines from South Tyrol/Trentino/Friuli
Vineyard area and production volume:
- South Tyrol/Trentino: About 14,000 hectares, some 1.2 million hectolitres per year.
- Friuli: 20 000 hectares, 1.1 million hectolitres per year.