With sea and mountain vistas and diverse local foods, this north- eastern corner of Italy makes an ideal spot for relaxed, uncrowded wine touring, says Carla Capalbo. Read her Friuli travel guide here, first published in the Decanter April 2012 issue.
Friuli: Six of the best wineries to visit
Take a look at Decanter’s pick of the best six wineries to visit in Friuli.
☆ Paolo Caccese
Paolo and Veronica Caccese run a model, rose-covered winery at Pradis, surrounded by sloping vineyards of the Collio’s best white varieties. The Caccese style is pure and mineral – make sure you try the terrific Malvasia Istriana. paolocaccese.it
A pioneer of natural, sulphite-free winemaking, Stanko Radikon is one of Oslavia’s great characters and has a great following among connoisseurs. His small cellar is always full of unusual wines. Try his long-macerated whites and fantastic Merlot. radikon.it
☆ Ronco del Gelso
Fifth-generation farmers, the Badìn family produces some of Isonzo’s most interesting Pinot Grigio and Malvasia from its welcoming winery, on the road from Cormòns to Gorizia. roncodelgelso.com
☆ Lis Neris
Alvaro Pecorari has been a pioneer of Isonzo wines, as his lovely estate at San Lorenzo Isontino attests. His pure wines cover a range of varieties from the plateau – Gris, his oaked Pinot Grigio, was a four-star recommendation in Decanter (March 2011). lisneris.it
☆ Benjamin Zidarich
Zidarich is one of the leading lights on the Carso winemaking scene, and uses a spectacular cellar hewed from the limestone mountain for ageing his fine wines. Try his Vitovska, Malvasia and local red Terrano. zidarich.it
The Vodopivec brothers can be thanked for putting Vitovska (especially as an orange wine) securely on Italy’s map of wonderful varieties. Their walled vineyards are testament to the difficulty of working the rugged Carso terrain. vodopivec.it