If any area within Italy can be described as "picture-perfect," the wine country of Friuli with its rolling hills and vibrant mosaic of emerald green-hued vineyards is a destination worthy of that artistic depiction. This unspoiled territory provides life to extremely rooted and proud individuals, grown and brought into the world with care and love, much like its grapes. Italy’s northeastern-most region is the crossroads of Europe’s Latin, Germanic and Slavic cultures. Friuli’s heavy ties to its roots have created a very strong identity reflected in the region’s wines. Located about an hour-and-a-half drive from Venice, the “Collio” wine region of Friuli is a crossroads of cultures, sharing a border with Slovenia and close to Austria. Situated in the northeastern-most part of Italy -- between the Alps and the Adriatic sea -- this region is a bit off the beaten tourist path and still considered 'undiscovered,' yet offers an ambiance of familiarity, warmth and naturally, plenty of wine. The wineries are long-standing, old familial wineries, located on a variety of the regions many terrains, ranging from hilltops, to rocky mountains, to flat plains, creating a landscape for some glorious grape varietals that the US can only imagine, such as Ribolla Gialla, Friulano, Pignolo, Schioppettino, and Refosco. These wines enjoy a high degree of exclusivity outside Italy because most are consumed domestically and not exported. The small degree of exportation is usually to other close European countries and the very few bottles that do make it outside Europe gets lost among the more widely known wines. Friuli Italian Wines wants to bring the culture of this wonderful Italian region and its wines to California.