I’ll Drink to That: Friulian Producer Giampaolo Venica

Episode 426 of I’ll Drink to That! was released recently, and it features Giampaolo Venica, who works with his family at the Venica winery, in the Friuli region of Italy.

Giampaolo Venica recently turned 40 years old, and has watched some remarkable changes happen in the Friuli over the last few decades. He notes many of those shifts in this interview, in which he describes a wine region that has moved from being planted to 70% Merlot and other Bordeaux grape varieties to a percentage for those grape varieties that is now in the teens, with Glera plantings for Prosecco production surpassing the amount of Merlot in the area today. Giampaolo also describes a similar shift within his own winery, with production having moved more and more to white grapes over the recent years. Friulano, in particular, is the grape variety that Giampaolo is most drawn to for future plantings in his corner of the Collio, and he explains why in this interview. Giampaolo is candid about some of the challenges that his winery has faced in the market, and what the hurdles are for wineries in the Friuli today. As he examines the last couple decades of his work life, he also looks ahead to what he would like to accomplish in the future, and gives a summation of what is important for the Friuli as a region over the next decade. If you are curious about one of the premier wine areas of Italy, Giampaolo is a good guide to the region.

Listen to this episode:

I’ll Drink to That is the world’s most listened-to wine podcast, hosted by Levi Dalton. Levi has had a long career working as a sommelier in some of the most distinguished and acclaimed dining rooms in America. He has served wine to guests of Restaurant Daniel, Masa, and Alto, all in Manhattan. Levi has also contributed articles on wine themes to publications such as The Art of Eating, Wine & Spirits magazine, Bon Appetit online, and Eater NY. Check out his pictures on Instagram and follow him on Twitter: @leviopenswine