Friuli-Venezia Giulia is an important Italian wine region, situated high in the northernmost parts of the country, and close to the Slovenian and Austrian borders. As such, there is a considerable Germanic influence on the wines of this region, with varietals such as Riesling growing alongside Italian classics such as Pinot Grigio. The finest wines of Friuli-Venezia Giulia are considered to be those which capture the alpine essence of the region, with its pine scented terroirs and crystal mountain waters which run down from the mountains. There are also several interesting lesser known grape varietals processed in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, which gives the region a unique wine culture which the local wine makers are immensely proud of, and which makes the region a fascinating one to explore. The green skinned grapes of the Sauvignon Blanc varietal had their origins in Southern France, where they are still widely grown and used for many of the excellent young and aged white wines the region is famous for. Today, however, they are grown in almost every wine producing country in the world, and are widely revered for their fresh and grassy flavors, full of tropical notes and refreshing, zesty character. Sauvignon Blanc grapes thrive best in moderate climates, and ripen relatively early in the year. This has made them a favorite for many wineries in the New World, where they can still produce healthy and high yields in the earlier part of the summer before the temperatures become too hot. Too much heat has a massively adverse effect on Sauvignon Blanc, as the grapes become dull in their flavor, and the wine produced from them loses all its unique character and high points. As such, Sauvignon Blanc farmers have had a lot of trouble from global warming and climate change, as they are being forced to harvest their crops increasingly earlier in the year when it is cool enough to do so. The second of the Tre Venezie, Friuli, borders on Austria to the north and Slovenia to the east. Although Italy is known in the wine world for its red wines, the white wines of Friuli are responsible for this region's reknown. The best wines are from a series of hillsides called colli: Colli Orientali del Friuli (east), Colli Grave del Friuli (west) and Colli Gorziana (Gorzia hills). Wonderful whites include Pinot Grigio,Pinot Bianco Tocai Friulano, Ribolla Gialla, Sauvignon Blanc and Gewurztraminer. Friuli also produces lighter-styled red wines from Pinot Nero (Pinot Noir), Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.