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Stylized image of Venica bottle

Venica: Adventure at the Crossroads

Friuli, perhaps more than any other region of Italy, offers plenty of what we mean by “extremes” in wine. At the one end, you have amphoras, orange wines, and other experiments. On the other, you have hyper-modern expressions of international grapes.

Well, you might like something in between. Something classic, that expresses the unique terroirs of Friuli, where mountains meet the Adriatic, and the unique crossroads culture, where Latin meets Slavic and Germanic.

Like something produced by the classic and historic producers Venica & Venica. They work specifically in Collio, a tract of land at the heart of these crossroads – so much so that the very vineyards have served as battlefields in the fight for territorial control among Austro-Hungarians, Yugoslavians, and Italian partisans. The soils of Collio are incredibly rich in minerals, and when you combine this with the Adriatic breeze and mountain freshness, you get some seriously delicious white wines.

Today we offer a lineup of three examples. Each is a perfect representation of the respective grape, as produced in the hills of Collio.

The Pinot Grigio is so much more than the supermarket grigio. It’s a “total treat” with “freshly sliced peaches” (the full reviews of these wines are below). In the Sauvignon “nectarine mixes with lemon rind and sage”. The Friulano has a blend of “nectarine and lemon sorbet with minty herbs and spice”.

These are dreamy white wines that prove our point: you don’t need to go to the extremes to have a terrific adventure.

Venica & Venica Friulano Primarul 2022 $25.99

"The 2022 Friulano Ronco delle Cim wafts up with a subtle sweetness, blending nectarine and lemon sorbet with minty herbs and spice. This is silky smooth yet cool-toned in feel, with hints of sour citrus complicating its crunchy orchard fruits. A nuanced blend of chamomile and kiwi lingers as a bump of residual acidity keeps the mouth watering. The 2022 tapers off with impressive length.91 pts" - Eric Guido (Vinous)

Venica & Venica Pinot Grigio Jesera 2022 - $27.99
"The 2022 Pinot Grigio Jesera is a total treat, with a sweetly scented bouquet of freshly sliced peaches and wildflowers accentuated by white smoke. This sweeps across the palate with ripe orchard fruits and green melon, neatly balanced by a gentle tinge of minerality. The 2022 cleans up beautifully, leaving a pleasant inner sweetness and hints of confectionary spice. A sour lime tinge adds a lovely contrast. While a bit riper in style than previous vintages, the Jesera is impossible to ignore. 91 pts" - Eric Guido (Vinous)

Venica & Venica Collio Sauvignon Ronco del Cero 2022 $31.99
"The 2022 Sauvignon Ronco del Cerò lifts from the glass with a delicate spiciness, more grace than power, as nectarine mixes with lemon rinds and sage to form its enticing bouquet. This impresses further with textures of pure silky and core of succulently ripe orchard fruits and citrus tones. Saline minerals slowly saturate, and an herbal thrust defines the close. The 2022 mixes sweetness and sour tension to keep the taster returning for more as hints of lime and a salty tinge slowly fade. Fantastic.93 pts" - Eric Guido (Vinous)


This story was originally featured in our newsletter, where it was offered at a special subscribers-only discount. Subscribers get special offers, the first look at new discoveries, invites to events, and stories about wines and the artisans that make them.