If you went to Italy and didn’t drink all the wine, did you even go to Italy? Italy Travel Specialists Kelly Boutwell of Serious Sip and Viviana Luison of Italian for Fun hosted a small group on a trip to Friuli and I was lucky enough to be along for the ride. We had access to exclusive winemakers and the experiences were indescribable. Here are seven wineries in Friuli, Italy you need to know about so get ready to book your trip. You’re definitely going to want to see where we stayed, be sure to click here to check out the amazing resort.
Please note that some of these wineries and vineyards are in the hills of Slovenia literally a few minutes from the border, so technically some are in Slovenia. One of the biggest differences between the wine in these two countries are the regulations they follow.
Ronchi di Cialla
Dina and Paolo Rapuzzi are the founders of Ronchi di Cialla. They’re best known for the rebirth of the Schioppettino wine grape. In 1970 they foraged the 60 remaining Schioppettino vines and in two years turned them into 3500.
It was an incredible experience learning about the family, wandering the beautiful property, sprawling vineyard and cellar. Miss Dina and her sons, Ivan and Pierpaolo, shared with us what seemed like endless bottles of the most amazing wine and charcuterie.
I was having a fangirl moment when one of my all time favorite wines was poured by the winemaker himself. It’s Schioppettino RiNera, and I highly recommend it if you can get your hands on a bottle. It was such an honor to take these photos of Miss Dina and her sons. The whole experience was 10/10.
This winery is also approved based the fact that they have two winery dogs and a cat – I decided I don’t trust a winery without pets.
Radovic – Wine,Olive Oil & Stay
A land shaped by water and by the north easterly wind called “bora”, rising from the sea, with a breathtaking view of the mountains in the background. Our story begins in this land, shaped by the rocks and rich in beautiful and inviting landscapes, just on the edge of the carsic forest… We have always taken care of the earth, learning to respect it and harvest the fruits of this labor.
Peter Radovic, our host at Radovic, is one of the youngest winemakers in the region. Peter shared his approach and techniques in skin maceration and we tasted wine thieved from barrels in their cellar.
Though we wanted to, we weren’t able to buy any wines. Radovic only produces about 400 cases a year along with some estate grown olive oil. They’re sold out before the wines and oil are even bottled.
MOVIA is a winery and vineyard in the hills of Slovenia just a few minutes from the border of Italy. Run by Aleš & Vesna Kristančič, it was definitely the most bougie of all of the wineries we visited.
Aleš is a total showman and Vesna’s the life of the party. Known for their sparkling wine that lives forever because it’s stored upside down to allow all the sediment to sit directly on the cork. Aleš uses a stainless steel tool and opens the wine in a clear glass bucket filled with water, then he removes the cork and the carbon dioxide pushes out the yeast sediment.
The presentation of wine, charcuterie, olives and views was truly spectacular. Although it was a very high-end experience, it still had a very friendly and casual vibe.
This artisanal vineyard cuts the grass and harvests the grapes all by hand. The property sits high on the hill with spectacular views and their branding had me at hello.
Klanjscek Wine & Stay
Klanjscek Wine & Stay is a winery, farmhouse and a place to stay in the heart of the Gorizian Collio in Oslavia. Out front, sits one of the Windows Onto Collio Brda, the brainchild of the extremely generous, humble and kind Elena Orzan. These windows were created as a way to connect land and people.
It is our land, our vineyard, our life. This experience will take you on a journey to Italy and Slovenia: two countries that become one through nature that men preserved and shaped and because of their long common history. It will surprise you and make you fall in love.
Klanjscek produces organic wine, but they don’t advertise it that way – they want you to drink it because you like it, not just because it’s organic. Dejan Klanjscek hosted us for a tasting and tour and let me tell you, this guy’s a character (in the best way). It’s expected that you have a good time. Sit down and drink, and that we did.
They say the best wines have no label and this was true that day for sure. We sampled countless incredible wines and had what I can only describe as an Italian version of moonshine that was served out of a plastic soda bottle gifted to Dejan by a guest. Putting that one down in the books for sure. The property is stunning and the decor is next level.
Stanko Radikon of Radikon Wines has been producing natural wines since 1980 and these vineyards were originally planted by his grandfather Franz Mikulus using the Ribolla Gialla grape. Radikon’s passion is to create an honest, different, and unique wine.
BAJTA SALEŽ is definitely a stop and stay worth making. Besides wine and cured meats, the farm offers accommodations and local adventures, a restaurant, and they even host weddings.
The owners Irene and Andrej’s were so kind and spoiled us with never ending wine and meats. The animals on their farm are raised in the wild and are all natural. BAJTA SALEŽ is one of the only cured meat producers who handles all phases of production.
Italy Travel Specialists
Want more info about these Seven Wineries In Friuli, Italy? Then definitely reach out to Italy Travel Specialists Kelly Boutwell of Serious Sip and Viviana Luison of Italian for Fun. Kelly of Serious Sip is a DipWSET, CMS2, CSW and Viviana Luison is a native of Friuli and Italian teacher at Italian for Fun.