Colli Orientali del Friuli Picolit

Colli Orientali del Friuli Picolit

46°05′ N


13°26′ E




about this subregion

Colli Orientali del Friuli Picolit DOCG, nestled in the picturesque region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia in northeastern Italy, it´s a subzone of the Friuli Colli Orientali DOC, and stands as a testament to the harmony of nature and viticulture. Cradled between the Adriatic Sea and the Julian Alps, it shares a border to the east with another prominent DOCG of Italy: Collio Goriziano. The unique terroir of Colli Orientali del Friuli Picolit is characterized by rolling hills, mineral-rich soils, and a delicate balance of sunshine and rainfall, offering an ideal environment for grape cultivation.

The crown jewel of this DOCG is the Picolit grape, a native variety that has thrived here for centuries. Prized for its delicate floral aroma and luscious sweetness, Picolit has carved a niche for itself among the finest dessert wines in the world. The Colli Orientali del Friuli Picolit DOCG showcases the versatility of this grape in various expressions: the nuanced Bianco, which captures the essence of the region's terroir; the Bianco from the distinguished subzone of Cialla, offering a more concentrated rendition; and the opulent Riserva, an age-worthy wine emanating from the elite vineyards of the Cialla subzone.

Each of these wines, from the lively freshness of Bianco to the depth of the Riserva, narrates the tale of the land, the climate, and the centuries-old bond between the people and the Picolit grape. This DOC Gtruly encapsulates the spirit and tradition of Friulian winemaking.


vinerra illustration

Vineyard Hectares





Discover Terroir

The Colli Orientali del Friuli Picolit DOCG is beautifully situated in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of northeastern Italy. Nestled between the majesty of the Julian Alps to the north and the fertile plains leading to the Adriatic Sea to the south, the appellation boasts a unique and enchanting landscape.

The term "Colli Orientali" translates to "Eastern Hills," and it's these undulating hills that define the region's topography. These hillsides, bathed in sunlight and cooled by mountain breezes, cradle the vineyards, ensuring optimal exposure and microclimates for grape cultivation. The soils here are predominantly marl and sandstone, known locally as "ponca," contributing to the mineral complexity of the wines.

Surrounded by thick forests and interspersed with medieval hamlets, the vineyards of Colli Orientali del Friuli Picolit DOCG present an almost picture-perfect landscape. The combination of elevation, sloping terrain, and the protective barrier provided by the mountains creates a unique terroir that is both a challenge and a boon for viticulturists. Streams and rivers that snake through the valleys enrich the land, adding to its fertility.

In essence, the Colli Orientali del Friuli Picolit DOCG is not just a wine-growing region; it's a breathtaking tapestry of nature where vineyards, hills, and forests come together in harmonious beauty, making it one of the most scenic and treasured landscapes in Italy.

The Colli Orientali del Friuli Picolit DOCG, nestled in northeastern Italy's Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, boasts a climate that expertly melds the continental with the maritime, crafting an idyllic stage for grape cultivation.

Shielded by the Julian Alps to the north, the vineyards enjoy protection from icy northern drafts. Yet, the hallmark of a continental climate remains: crisp, cold winters followed by warm, sunlit summers. This rhythm of hot days and cooler nights during the ripening season ensures grapes mature with a harmonious blend of sugars and acids, imparting wines with a captivating balance of aroma and structure.

But the sea's touch is never far away. The Adriatic Sea to the south graces the region with gentle breezes, offering respite during the hotter months and ensuring grapes mature at a graceful pace. While the maritime influence bestows the land with a moderating embrace, its humidity does pose vineyard challenges, underscoring the importance of meticulous vineyard care.

Rain here doesn't play favorites; it's sprinkled evenly across seasons. However, late summers and early autumns can occasionally wear a heavier cloak of rain, putting vineyard management to the test just before harvest.

In essence, the Colli Orientali del Friuli Picolit DOCG is a dance of climates, where the warmth of the land waltzes with the coolness of the sea, producing wines that resonate with the heartbeats of both.

Colli Orientali del Friuli Picolit has a diverse range of soils that contribute significantly to the character and complexity of its wines. Each soil type lends its own unique qualities to the grapes, and subsequently, the wines. Here's a detailed exploration of the predominant soil types in the region:

  1. Marl: Marl is arguably the most iconic soil type in the Colli Orientali region. Composed of a blend of clay and limestone, marl is known for its moisture retention capabilities, ensuring that vines have a consistent water supply, especially during drier periods. This type of soil is also slightly alkaline, which can influence the grape's flavor profile, adding subtle mineral nuances to the wines.
  2. Sandstone (Ponca): Referred to locally as "ponca," sandstone is a common feature in the vineyards of this DOCG. It's a sedimentary rock that has a good drainage capacity, which ensures that the roots of the vines don't sit in waterlogged conditions. This forces the vines to delve deeper into the ground in search of moisture, thereby accessing a range of minerals that contribute to the wine's complexity. Additionally, the friable nature of ponca allows vine roots to penetrate deeply, ensuring greater resilience during dry spells.
  3. Gravels and Alluvial Deposits: Found mainly in the valley floors and lower lying areas, these soils are a testament to the ancient watercourses that once flowed through the region. They offer excellent drainage, ensuring that vines are never overwatered. Gravels, in particular, can retain heat, releasing it during cooler nights and thereby moderating temperature fluctuations for the vines. Wines from these soils often exhibit vibrant fruit expressions.
  4. Clay: Clay soils in the Colli Orientali del Friuli Picolit DOCG are typically found interspersed with other soil types. Known for their water retention properties, clay soils can help sustain vines during dry periods. They also impart a certain weight and structure to the wines, often resulting in wines with a fuller body and richer mouthfeel.


The Picolit grape, native to the prestigious Colli Orientali del Friuli Picolit DOCG in northeastern Italy, is a delicate gem that has stood the test of time. Its petite, yellowish-green berries are not just visually enticing but are also emblematic of the grape's inherent rarity and its rich history in the region. The clusters, often loosely packed due to the grape's inclination towards floral abortion, result in reduced yields but unparalleled concentration and quality.

In the glass, wines made from the Picolit grape often mesmerize with a golden hue, releasing a captivating aromatic bouquet. Enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike are drawn in by its alluring floral notes, intertwined with hints of apricot, honey, and almond. On the palate, its elegance is unrivaled, delivering layers of flavors that echo the nose, with an added touch of citrus and spice. The wine's balanced acidity ensures it never comes across as overly sweet, but rather refreshingly harmonious, leaving a lingering finish that beckons one to relish sip after sip. Truly, the Picolit grape is the embodiment of Friulian viticultural heritage, offering a sensory journey into the heart of the Colli Orientali del Friuli region.

Colli Orientali del Friuli Picolit DOCG is renowned for producing some of the most distinctive wines in Italy, particularly from the prized Picolit grape. The region offers three distinct expressions: the versatile Bianco, the pure Bianco from the elite subzone of Cialla, and the matured masterpiece, the Riserva, also hailing from Cialla. While the Bianco blend allows for a minimum of 85% Picolit complemented by other non-aromatic white grapes, both the Cialla wines are dedicated 100% to the Picolit grape, underscoring the region's commitment to showcasing the grape's purity.

  1. Bianco: This wine captures the essence of the region, bringing forth the character of the Picolit grape, harmoniously blended with other white varieties. With grapes possibly dried on or off the vine, it attains a minimum potential alcohol level of 13.0%. After aging for about a year, the Bianco reveals aromatics of fresh blossoms, white fruits, and a touch of almond. On the palate, it presents a balanced mix of sweetness and acidity, underpinned by its fruity and floral notes.
  2. Bianco from subzone Cialla: A testament to purity, this wine showcases the Picolit grape in its entirety. The drying process ensures it achieves at least 14.0% potential alcohol, creating a richer and more intense flavor profile. After approximately two years of aging, it offers refined notes of honey, dried apricot, and subtle spices, combined with an underlying minerality that adds complexity and depth.
  3. Cialla Riserva: The pinnacle of Colli Orientali del Friuli Picolit DOCG, this wine is aged for a minimum of four years, allowing it to develop a profound aromatic complexity. Its deep golden hue is a prelude to a symphony of flavors – from matured fruits and toasted nuts to hints of caramel and spices. The drying process, pushing to 14.0% potential alcohol or more, gives it a luscious mouthfeel, making the Riserva a true embodiment of the region's winemaking heritage.