Trentino-Alto Adige and Friuli-Venezia Giulia make up Italy’s very northeastern tip, and their most renowned vineyards lie near the national frontiers with Austria and Slovenia.
In Alto Adige, the main growing areas form a ‘Y’ shape with the city of Bolzano at its intersection and the conjoining valleys of the Adige and Isarco stretching outwards and upwards to the north, towards Austria.
In Friuli (as it’s commonly called) the key denominations of Colli Orientali, Rosazzo, Collio, Isonzo and Carso run right up to the border with Slovenia.
Scroll down to see tasting notes and scores for 10 top white blends from Friuli and Alto Adige
The influence of the shared heritage as part of the old Austro-Hungarian empire is still evident today: Alto Adige (an autonomous region since 1972) embraces its links with Austrian culture and German is still the first language for many; but while surnames over to the east often reveal Slavic origins, most of Friuli feels distinctly Italian.
The two areas spearhead Italy’s burgeoning fine white wine scene: according to the regional consorzi, 68% of wine production in Alto Adige is white and in Friuli almost 75%.