The Friuli Venezia Giulia is one of the most important in Italy, especially from the standpoint of its connection with the rest of Europe, and it is world renowned for the quality of produce and wine that it creates.
Located at the North-Eastern tip of Italy, the region is actually one of the smallest in the country. However it belies this size with a high quality level of infrastructure that makes it an extremely important link in the chain between Italy and the rest of Europe.
The land itself is also varied, which plays a large part in the continued success of the region. When it comes to the development of wine, producers can take advantage of the fact that almost 20% of the region is hilly, which is ideal territory for vineyards that are used to produce a number of high quality wines.
The region, like many in Italy, began to rise to prominence during the Roman era and it thrives on the tourist trade that has arisen as a result of much of these origins being visible throughout the territory. Roman architecture has had an enormous influence on the region and it is likely this period that first saw Friuli Venezia Giulia begin to establish itself in terms of winemaking and other local crafts.
However, the region has also been influenced by a number of other countries over the years. Though it eventually became Venetian territory on the early 15th century, eventually the Austrian empire gained control of the region and began to exert its own influence. From the late 1700s the region actually flourished quite spectacularly as a result of this change in hands, with the expansive policies of the empire playing a large part in the economic boom that still has effects today in regards to the importance of the region to Italy. It was during this period that the region was established as an important port and when its links to the rest of Europe began to develop in strength and importance.
Eventually the region fell once again under Italian control, this time as part of a united Italian country. Though various border issues arose throughout the smaller territories within the region, over time they united and became extremely important areas throughout the duration of both World Wars.
The Friuli Venezia Giulia was also briefly governed by an Anglo-American alliance in the aftermath of the Second World War, which again lent to the cultural diversity that has defined the region for so many years. Upon being reunited with Italy Friuli Venezia Giulia became one of the few autonomous regions in the country, which lends the region a level of independence that many don’t have in Italy and further helps to inform its winemaking and general culture.
As mentioned, the region is also one of the most important in Italy from an economic standpoint, with its ‘North-East Model’ revolving around the continued success of small and medium-sized businesses. It is perhaps this economic model that has allowed so many winemakers to gain prominence in the region. This is supported by the fact that farming plays such an important part in the local economy. The region has quickly become a byword for quality when it comes to produce, particularly when it comes to cheeses, ham and Italian white wine.
The Attems Family
The Attems family can trace their history back almost as far as the entire region and they have been an important family in Friuli Venezia Giulia for many years. First rising to prominence when Friuli was a country in its own right, with their Fortress of Attems beginning to form in the later 12th century.
This position of prominence was enhanced when the regions were united following the Venetian conquest and really came to the fore during the Austrian occupation. A number of members of the family held important positions throughout those years, eventually being awarded the title of Counts of the Holy Roman Empire.
While the family does not hold such levels of power anymore, they still play an important part in the autonomous structure of the region and much pride is taken in the name. Over the years they have become synonymous with the creation of high quality Italian white wine, with their Ciccinis Sauvignon in particular gaining a high level of recognition amongst connoisseurs.
The family maintains a vineyard in Lucinico, which is located in the Collio Goriziano zone and hosts the grapes that eventually go into the making of their Sauvignon. The quality of the soil in this vineyard is of extreme importance to the wine and it is this, plus their carefully regimented growing and production procedures that have allowed it to gain an increasing level of popularity both on the domestic and international fronts in recent years.
The wine itself boasts a rather complex flavour that sets it apart from many other Italian whites. It is crisp and tangy to the taste, which makes it extremely refreshing, but it also has a complex bouquet that ensures it is much more than a simple white wine.
While many would espouse the virtues of combining the wine with the many hams, cheeses and fruits that the region produces, it can also make a great complement to a fuller meal. Drink it with white meats, such as chicken or turkey to get the full effects.
The wine also blends well with fish combined with a range of mild vegetables, offering a zesty flavour to complement the taste of the meal.
Of course, this refreshing taste has also ensured that it has become favoured as an aperitif for many people and it can easily be enjoyed as a light refreshment to be taken with a small snack. Any meal that includes cheese or cheese-based sauces will combine well with the drink, but it is also easily enjoyed on its own. In fact, there are few wines that can match the feeling the Attems Ciccinis Sauvignon provides when enjoyed on a gorgeous summer day.