Tocai Friulano, or simply Tocai, was the local Friulian synonym for the white wine grape Sauvignonasse. As a result of a European Union ruling, producers in Friuli can no longer use the term Tocai and thus have adopted the term “Friulano” to refer to wines made from the grape.
Sauvignonasse, which is sometimes known as Sauvignon Vert, is a relative of Sauvignon Blanc. Its wines are typically fuller in body than those produced from Sauvignon Blanc.
The wine is known today as Friulano comes from Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy’s northeastern-most wine region. Under the name Tocai Friulano, the Sauvignonasse grape has been cultivated here since at least the 1600s. Typically, its wines are pale in color, offer intense floral aromatics, are light in body, and have a distinctive green-almond character. The wines are quite dry and are not intended for aging.