Schioppettino becomes refined

by Riccardo Viscardi 07/18/14
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Lo schioppettino si raffina

During the last edition of the Friulano & Friends prize, organized by the Friuli Regional Agency for Agricultural Development (ERSA) and staged at the beautiful Villa Cabassi, only one wine won total consent in its category: Schioppettino 2012 from the Petrusa winery in Prepotto.

Prepotto is making a concerted effort to identify itself with this red grape, which had all but disappeared from the area despite the fact that it was so apt for cultivating it. Several years ago producers in Prepotto joined together in an association to study this grape through both on-site research and in the lab on the grapes aromatic characteristics. These studies have produced some very interesting findings and as a result 40 vineyards have so far been replanted with this grape. While this may not seem to be many, it is a clear indication of the producers’ determination to continue in this direction.

Valle dello Judro has shown itself to be an excellent area for the grape be it for its soil, be it for the marked temperature variation between night and day. The valley is also well ventilated which allows the grape to grow healthy and thus there is less need for chemical treatments. Studies have shown that the vines grow best when they are Guyot-trained which allows for ample leaf coverage.

The research and experiments are now producing excellent results and winemakers have done their part by abandoning certain practices used in the past and some more modern ones that involved at times an excessive, invasive use of wood. I spent an enjoyable evening with producers discussing the future of this wine that truly has great potential. In my opinion more emphasis needs to be paid to the grape’s original and basic characteristics: its lovely drinkability and intriguing aroma. Many of the wines at the presentation demonstrated clear limits in regard to finesse and sometimes there was too much ripe fruit in the bouquet, which itself was not distinct, while the flavor was too heavy without sufficient acidity to counterbalance it. Everyone agreed, however, that Petrussa’s wine had none of these defects.

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