Schioppettino di Prepotto
The intricate and intriguing history of Schioppettino di Prepotto
We want to tell you the true story of Schioppettino di Prepotto as personally told by Walter Filiputti, credited with having triggered the Renaissance of Schioppettino, as well as being a witness and advocate of much of the modern history of Friulian wine.
“The modern Schioppettino of the historic area of Prepotto - Italy was born with the 1977 harvest when the writer brought innovations that, for the time, were considered revolutionary and for some others blasphemous: either in the vinification process – inspired by the Burgundy model - and in its aging in barriques.”
That’s it: the wine originated from this historic native variety was the first to be aged in barriques in Friuli Venezia Giulia - Italy.
Schioppettino deserved this honour of being the progenitor of a new style that looked up to elegance, to the enhancement of its spicy aromas, to the ability to age and above all to approach high-end restaurants.
This is exactly what happened, as it immediately found favour among consumers and chefs.
At the time, most Schioppettinos were slightly sweet, if not truly sweet, heritage of an era that no longer belonged to us. After a relevant historical past, originated in its historic cradle of the Prepotto area, from the end of the Second World War (1945) it was almost forgotten by too many of its fellow countrymen, attracted by international varieties.
This was the scenario back in 1977, to which mockery was added.
Schioppettino suffered the same cultural abuse as Pignolo and Tacelenghe. It was “rehabilitated” on March 8, 1978 (EEC Reg. 486) together with its companions in misfortune, thanks to the efforts of the Nonino’s family with their Risit d’aur (golden vine shoot), a prize created with the intention of saving these ancient Friulian risits (*vines in Friulian). (The three vines became part of authorised varieties with EEC Reg. n. 3800/81 and in the much long-awaited group of recommended varieties with EEC Reg. n. 3582/83)
It was disappearing, in fact, due to bureaucratic negligence (since it had not been previously registered among the authorised varieties). Hence subject to uprooting and heavy fines (200,000 lire per thousand square metres of vineyard and per agricultural year until the plants were removed).
In the light of this dramatic and absurd situation, the Prepotto Municipality, which at the time was the only area where Schioppettino was grown, called an extraordinary assembly of the Municipal Council with the defence of Schioppettino on the agenda. It was 9 January 1977, and the enlightened mayor was Bruno Bernardo.
The writer, promoter of this event, was invited to give a talk about Prepotto’s icon wine.
The Municipal Council passed the following resolution:
Having heard the report by Dr. Walter Filiputti:
“In view of the documentation submitted by the same, it is requested that Schioppettino be included at least in the list of authorised grape varieties, and that its cultivation be reserved exclusively for the Municipality of Prepotto.
Pending such recognition, the municipality declares its willingness to guarantee this wine both in terms of the quantity produced and its provenance, through the control and annual publication of the growers’ grape report.”
An entire municipality had risen up in defence of its iconic wine, protesting against laws that were killing off a large part of their agricultural history. The seed was sown for the birth of the Prepotto cru or site of excellence among local vine growers. This would be fully realised in 2008, when the Schioppettino di Prepotto sub-zone was dedicated to it, within the wider Friuli Colli Orientali appellation. Since then, numerous winemakers have resumed producing this splendid autochthonous wine, raising, vintage after vintage, both its perceived quality and prestige, but above all becoming aware that they possessed a priceless heritage that they had a duty to ennoble. This is happening. Long live the Schioppettino of the 21st century.”
Wine manager and writer
Schioppettino di Prepotto
Friuli Colli Orientali. DOC
Schioppettino has its cradle in the Prepotto area, where climate, soil and local culture have created a true terroir. An autochthonous variety par excellence, it is distinguished by its class, elegance and hints of spicy scents. So much so that it has been called “the Pinot Noir of Friuli”.
In 2008, the sub-zone of Schioppettino di Prepotto was created – within the Friuli Colli Orientali DOC – consecrating it as a true grand cru.
Colour. Ruby red with slightly garnet hues.
Bouquet. It opens with notes of ripe red underbrush fruit, with spicy notes of incense, pepper and clove.
Taste. Schioppettino is a wine whose hallmarks are finesse and elegance. It is a gentle red wine, but nevertheless capable of achieving an excellent complexity thanks to a precious balance between nose and taste. This is confirmed by its excellent aromatic persistence on the finish, which echoes the spicy tones.