Il Ducato dei Vini Friulani

The Duchy of Friulian Wines

It was founded on October 10th, 1972 in Cividale. The choice of the place was not casual. The historic town is indeed in the center of one of Friuli’s most famous wine-producing areas. And since Cividale was the capital of the first Lombard Duchy, the name “ducato” was chosen also for the new association, to link together the nobility of history, territory and its most important product: wine. The credit for the establishment of the “ducato” is due to worthy members of viticulture, sector specialists, intellectuals, artists and journalists, aware that a product of excellence such as Friulian wine deserved to be made known to an ever wider public thanks to the action of an association capable of promoting its image and of enlarging the circle of connoisseurs who already knew its excellence.

And so it happened that a core of founders, taking advantage of the extraordinary communicative talents of journalists such as Isi Benini and Piero Fortuna, gave rise to a movement of recognition of the wine produced in the region, which has grown rapidly by importance and reputation both in Italy and abroad, especially where the presence of our emigrants was more prevalent.
Since its foundation to the present, the Duchy’s leadership has passed through the following hands: Ottavio Valerio, Vittorio Marangone, Alfeo Mizzau, Emilio Del Gobbo, Noé Bertolin (regent) and Piero Villotta.
After nearly 40 years, the Duchy, which has included and still includes among its ranks the elite of the producers, restaurateurs and those who professionally deal with wine, can be said to have played a very important stimulating function with a series of initiatives that have brought it to the attention of operators and public opinion.

In 1981, the Duchy of Friulian wines inaugurated Asparagus, a biennial initiative designed to promote another Friulian agrifood excellence, the white asparagus.

The counties

The close relationships that since its origins the Duchy has maintained with the emigrants, have generated a long series of enogastronomic encounters in the world, helping to strengthen the relationships of the emigrants with the land of origin and to make its enological excellence known in the new regions of residence . Thus were born the “counties” of Friulian wine in Toronto, Canada, by Senator Peter Bosa and Primo di Luca, and in Rome, by Fabrizio Tomada in the sphere of Fogolar furlàn, where he gathered a considerable number of leading personalities of national life. Other counties are being born in England, Brazil and China.

The Dutchy and the young

Besides expanding its activities outside the regional boundaries, the Duchy has also decided to extend its institutional objectives by aiming to educate responsible drinking and proper nutrition, starting from young people. The Duchy (in collaboration with associations, institutions and bodies) has thus promoted a series of courses and tastings in universities and high schools to teach, with the help of experts, how wines are to be tasted and combined, and that every food is an expression of the history and tradition of the people who produced it, that the defence of its cultural identity and the battle against rampant globalisation also consists in a conscious and peculiar way of eating and drinking, and that the care of one’s own health as well as of other people passes through awareness and moderation of behaviour rather than through coercive norms