From Friuli with love…

The benefits of having a wine blog is that it daily continues my wine education, beyond what I’m learning and writing about our clients. Clients pay me to keep up, so that keeping up has to do with information that will benefit them directly. Yes, social media is also moving that education along as well; but, having a wine blog has people reaching out to me from afar, much more than I would be learning in social media circles.

Some of the incoming pitches are worth sharing on this blog, but I can’t keep up with it all, either. Once in a while, I get info from afar that I find worthy for passing along. Writing as much as I do… Well, I’m either reading or writing; and my reading these days is mostly limited to helping clients to prove or improve their strengths. What’s going on around me otherwise just doesn’t have as much impact…

My closest connection to Friuli was when I was employed as a PR person and I was about to send my employer into a conference to deliver a presentation on Cabernet Franc. I researched a great report and gave it to him to deliver. He shot back, “Cab Franc in Italy?!? There’s no Cab Franc in Italy!” I said, “Yes there is, you can look it up.” Impertinent I know, but I had all but lost my patience by then.

My Email was about “2014: a different vintage.” It was referring to Europe, versus its own 2014 harvest in Friuli, Italy.

So, instead of focusing on all of Europe, I first wondered “What’s the size of Italy, as compared to the United states?” I went exploring and found this website: I compared the US to Italy and got a quick snapshot. Italy and California are very close in size. With the length of longitude of both, there must be some similarities, including both having Mediterranean climates.

Next, I checked latitudes, to make sure how closely related they are. These are my close guestimates.

  • Italy
    • 37° North
    • 46.5° North (the Friuli area)
  • California
    • 31° North
    • 42° North (45.4° is Willamette valley’s latitude)

Friuli to California are not in the same ball park…

  • Northern Italy is 6° more north
  • Southern California is 4.5° shorter than Italy, when including Sicily…
  • Oregon is just right… So, this is another story.

The report that I got gave us a sweeping vintage update for Europe, but from the comparatives that I just set up, I’m going to focus on just the Friuli region, and know that if you enjoy wines from Friuli (including delicious Cabernet Franc), this is your update:

2014: a different vintage

FROM THE WEBSITE, a bit edited:

Lis Neris is the first Italian town to greet the Isonzo River, as it meanders its way out of Slovenia, is Gorizia. This is historically Europe’s most contended border settlement. Flowing south, the river crosses enchanting countryside dotted with tiny villages, which are nestled around their bell towers and vineyards. This is where the spirit of the place beats time with the rhythms of daily life. Since 1879, it’s here that four generations of my family have worked passionately to help create and develop one of Friuli’s most representative wine estates.  Signed, Alvaro

Email from Alvaro

Greetings from Friuli,

European vine growers agree: mild winter and wet summer put us through the wringer. Every vintage has its strong and weak points. Since last summer it was already possible to detect the problems occurring in the vineyards and to try to solve them [by] working hard.

Now I can affirm that the worst is over and that the results are better than I was thinking during the summer. All the wines have a lighter structure (less alcohol) and, at the same time, flavors and aromas are supported by a tasty and mature acidity[,] which enhances their expression potential. This situation is more positive for white wines than for reds.

We confirm the production of Traditionali wines and of Selezioni from single vineyards. On the other hand, for this year, we abandoned late harvest and drying process. We have not abandoned yet the idea of producing Lis, our top white wine; if we will release this vintage, it will be the demonstration that real quality can follow different paths.


Well, I’m looking forward to tasting some Friulano, Friuli’s signature white grape. How about you?