With a playful, fruity character and lively aromas of citruses, herbs and almonds, Friulano is a favourite in Italy and Slovenia, making lean, dry white wines with a tangy palate.
This popular white grape originates from Veneto is and is widely grown in north-eastern Italy, particularly in Friuli. Friulano’s second home is Slovenia, specifically the regions of Goriska Brda and Vipava Valley.
Friulano wine has many faces and names which can be quite misleading. For example, this grape is also known as Sauvignon Vert or Sauvignonasse, even though it is not actually related to Sauvignon Blanc.
In addition, in both Italy and Slovenia, Friulano was previously known as Tokai Friulano. However, in 2007 the European Court ruled that ‘Tokai’ or ‘Tokay’ should be used only to describe the famous Hungarian dessert wines, historically known as Tokaj. And this is how Slovenian winemakers came up with yet another name for Friulano: Jakot, which is effectively “Tokaj” backwards.
In the vineyard, Friulano ripens early but buds late, and is productive to the point that yields must be monitored to maintain quality. Its thin skins make it susceptible to various forms of rot and mildew. Hence it is often picked earlier in the season. Friulano prefers drier vineyard sites, being prone to botrytis.
Aromas And Styles
Friulano makes lively and fruity wines with notes of citruses, flowers and almonds. Most common aromas include grapefruit, green pear, white peach, notes of aromatic herbs, such as tarragon, as well as some mineral undertones. Despite being light-bodied, these lean, dry wines are no short of flavours. Often, Friulano tickles the palate with a bright, vivid acidity – a distinctive feature of this grape. When it comes to Friulano, most of the winemakers do not favour oak, as it can overwhelm the grape’s playful, fruity character. A well-made Friulano wine is a great companion to fish, shellfish, as well as salads and green vegetables. It can even stand up against such challenging pairings as artichokes, cabbage and Brussel sprouts.