Up until the early 20th century, Friuli-Venezia Giulia was not considered part of north-eastern Italy but instead a southern part of the Austrian Hapsburg empire. This rich region provided the Austro-Hungarian population with fruit, food and wine.
After World War I, the entire region became Italian but its eastern border was still far from peaceful. Gorizia was considered the Berlin of southern Europe and identity here was always crucial. Things are now far more open and producers can easily manage a winery in Slovenia but own vineyards in Italy, or vice-versa – travelling with tractors and grapes across the border.
Friuli-Venezia Giulia’s biggest wine export is Pinot Grigio, however it also produces plenty of wines from indigenous varieties such as Ribolla Gialla, Picolit and Friulano.