Friulano is a green grape from France, more commonly known under the synonym Sauvignonasse. For a long period of time it was named Tocai Friulano in Italy.
Friulano has a floral and aromatic style that is typical for this grape. It tends to willingly reflect the soil, from marly (clay and limestone) to sandy and clay soils. Furthermore, with its thin skin it is better off in dry rather than in humid surroundings.
Friulano varietal wines can come in different styles but they all tend to be fruit driven with aromas of citrus and nuts, particularly almonds, as well as some floral notes. Styles can vary from being light and crisp to fuller bodied.
The best expressions of the variety can be found in one of the DOCG:s or DOC:s from Italy’s north-east (ordered according to the requirements of percentage of Friulano).
- Friuli Aquileia DOC, 100%
- Insonzo del Friuli DOC, 100%
- Friuli Grave DOC, 95%
- Lison DOCG, 85%
- Rosazza DOCG, a minimum of 50-60%
Some fifteen other northern Italy DOC:s accept a level of 85% of Friulano, blended with other white grapes acknowledged in the DOC rules.
The lighter style will pair well with a salad. The wine is best served at 8-10°C/46-50°F.
The full-bodied style will pair excellently with a rich fish such as salmon or monkfish.
The wine is best served at 10-12°C/50-54°F.
Where is it grown?
Friulano has a global acreage of 4.449 ha/11.105 ac, corresponding to a decrease of nineteen percent in ten years.
In Italy, plantings mount to 2.911 ha/7.193 ac. This makes it the forty-second most planted grape in the country. More than ninety percent are found in the north-eastern regions of Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia.
In Chile, Friulano holds plantings of 785 ha/1,940 ac – with a risk that some of this actually is planted with the grape Sauvignon Blanc. Most of the Fruilano plantings are found in the Del Maule region.
Argentina has plantings of 515 ha/1,273 ac, mostly in the San Martin and Santa Rita regions.
Plantings are reported also from Slovenia (Primorje – Goriska Brda) and from USA (the southern parts of California).
Friulano has a history of having originated in south-western France, and then having moved to north-eastern Italy and neighboring Slovenia. There it was – as a kind of marketing trick – given the name Tokai Friulano. The grape however has no links to Hungary, apart from the “stolen” name. Neither are there any links to the grape called Sauvignon Vert.