Friulano wine was widely known for centuries as Tocai friulano due to the famous grape variety grown in the northeast Italian areas of Friuli Venezia Giulia known as Colli Orientali, Grave del Friuli and also Collio.
So why has the name of such a famous wine changed?
The white wine Tocai Friulano had to change its name in 2007 as Hungary, after joining the European Union in 2004, successfully lobbied to obtain the exclusive use of the name “Tocaji” for its famous sweet wines. So the winemakers in Friuli Venezia Giulia, who were calling their wines Tocai friulano, had to come up with an alternative name. Among the initially considered names, we have “sauvignon vert” and “Sauvignonasse” but were rejected as not representing the Italian language and culture.
The name Friulano won as easy to spell, to pronounce and representative of the winemakers’ area in Friuli Venezia Giulia.
The Friuli Venezia Giulia Tocai Friulano has been described by Elda Felluga, as “the flagship white wine of Friuli Venezia Giulia”. Elda’s father Livio established a very well known estate in 1956.
Friulano is a niche wine. Elegant whispers of pear, light and fragrant, with citrus flavours, floral hints, and slightly bitter almond finish make this a white wine for connoisseurs. These are very distinct qualities that could never possibly be confused with the Tokaji dessert wine.
This wine ranges from light and crisp to a more vibrant and full body and may also be briefly aged in oak.
Friulano is widely available in Friuli Venezia Giulia and probably one of the first house wine choices of restaurants and trattorias.
It’s the quintessential grape of Friuli Venezia Giulia. A quality grape, food-friendly, more distinctive than Pinot Grigio, excellent value and with differences depending on the winemakers.