What is a winelover? An easy answer is someone who loves wine. For me it is a little more than that, for me it is the wine, things that are connected with wine and personal meetings. The #winelover-community is enabling all this and more. You might have seen some of our awesome t-shirts or badges or you might be one of the 16000+ winelovers in our Facebook group (if not, join us)!
Let me tell you how it all came to be, it’s a tale of the days of high adventure, of crystal glasses, new and old friends and of course good wine!
If I remember it correctly, it all started such a long time ago, a bunch of wine-loving bloggers, journalists, sommeliers, master of wine students, communicators, wine makers etc. – let’s call them winelovers met on-line and IRL, not only once but over and over again in slightly different formations. An idea sprung for a community to share ideas, photos, questions and experiences – and so #winelover was born – I think the conversation might have been something like this:
LuizAlberto: Hao! Dai ye! We travel again! This is good, but what is best in life?
AndreRiberinho: The open steppe, high hills, the ocean and the wind in your hair?
LuizAlberto: Wrong! Magnus! What is best in life?
MagnusReuterdahl: To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women and to drink wine.
LuizAlberto: That is good! That is good. Let’s create #winelover…
Ohhh… sorry I think I mixed up reality with Conan the Barbarian, but something along those lines and we were off (If memory serves me right we were a few more in the beginning as well).
So this started off as a community branded with a hashtag – ready to use on-line. After a while Twitter, Facebook, Instagram wasn’t enough, we wanted to meet more often so the #winelover hangout came to life in Eisenstadt, Austria in 2012. In February 2013 we were all of sudden celebrating our one year anniversary in Umbria on Saint Valentine’s day and 365 days later we found ourselves in Friuli-Venezia Giulia celebrating our second birthday. Time flies when you’re having fun!
Elena Roppa, who arranged a lot of it, and a bunch of amazing producers who offered themselves and their wines made this a very special #winelover weekend. We used Trieste, the capital of the region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, in the northeastern part of Italy, as our home base.
Friuli-Venezia-Giulia, often shortened to Friuli, consists of number of appellations; among them are Carso (DOC), Colli Orientali del Friuli (DOC), Collio Goriziano (DOC), Friuli Annia (DOC), Friuli Aquileia (DOC), Friuli Grave (DOC), Friuli Latisana (DOC), Isonzo and Lison-Pramaggiore ( DOC), Colli Orientali del Friuli Picolit (DOCG), Colli Orientali del Friuli Picolit-Cialla (DOCG), Ramandolo (DOCG) and Rosazzo (DOCG) to mention a few of them.
FriuliVeneziaGiulia is perhaps best known for its white wines but it also makes some red ones and some sweet wines. There are about 20,000 hectares of vineyards, of which 60% is planted with grapes for white wines, in the DOC and DOCG areas more than 75% are planted with grapes for white wine. There are more than 1,500 wineries, the vineyards are usually relatively small, about 80 % of are about 10 hectares or less.
Among the more common grapes for white wine you’ll find Friulano, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco and Verduzzo Friulano. There are also a few other grapes that are interesting such as Picolit, Malvsia Istriana, Ribolla Gialla and Riesling Italico (welschriesling).
Now some of you might think what happened to Tocai Friulano? Since 2007 it is known as Friulano. On March 31, 2007 the European Court of Justice of Luxembourg set the prohibition of using the name “Tocai” in the name of the wine.
The soils in the region vary from marl and sandstone in the more mountainous areas to clay, sand and gravel in the valleys. The mountain and the Sea always seem close by and is part of both the terroir and create a stunning landscape.
The white wines are great, lots of acidity and elegance but it was also fun to taste some really good red wines, which was more of a surprise for me.
After this trip, it is easy to conclude that Friuli-Venezia Giulia produce a lot of really great wines and is an area with both breadth and quality. Here are lots and lots to explore, great people to meet and a good region for #winelover-s!