Friuli-Venezia Giulia is a wine region in the far north-eastern corner of Italy, its landscape characterized by coastal flatlands, mountains and plateaux. The region is bound by the borders with Austria and Slovenia (to the north and east respectively), which follow the contours of the eastern Alps. The most significant mountains in this area are the Julian Alps, whence the Giulia appendix in the region's name. To the south lies the Gulf of Trieste (the northern tip of the Adriatic Sea), and the winelands of Veneto spread for miles to the west.
The region's wines stand out noticeably from other Italian wines: they are made using mostly non-traditional grape varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Pinot Bianco, but also some quintessentially Italian grapes such as Pinot Grigio and the region's own Picolit. The resulting wine varies depending on whether it's made in the Mediterranean climate in the south or the alpine continental climate in the north; typically it is fresh and fruity in style, as might be expected from a cool-climate wine zone. Friuli's signature white grape Friulano creates classic example of these refreshing wines. It was once known as Tocai Friulano but misleading associations with Hungary's prestigious Tokaji wine prompted a change under international law (it is now simply called Tai). Another indigenous grape used to create crisp, lively wines styles is Verduzzo, which is used widely around the region.