Father of Schioppettino in Friuli Venezia Giulia

If you’ve never heard of Schioppettino, you’re not the only one. It was seemingly extinct in 1970 when Paolo Rapuzzi and his wife, Dina, arrived in the Cialla Valley with the idea of renovating an abandoned farmhouse and making high quality wine with native grapes at Ronchi di Cialla. Paolo traveled around Friuli and Slovenia seeking samples and eventually persuaded the government to authorize him to plant vineyards of Schioppettino (pronounced Ski-oh-pet-tino).

Paolo reinforces how deeply his wines reflect the land and the climate of each vintage year.

For Subtitles in English, click on CC in the lower right corner of the screen.

Ronchi di Cialla Schioppettino, is a lovely transparent ruby red color with aromas and flavors of red fruit along with the signature crisp minerality of this area. The elegance and structure is comparable to a Pinot Noir, but then there is a spiciness that gives the wine a completely unique flavor. The wine tastes fresh and full now, but it can be aged for twenty or more years. The Rapuzzi family has held on to old vintages meaning they can offer extraordinary vertical tastings.

Bringing back Schioppettinowas was a quixotic endeavor but Paolo’s work succeeded and was quickly recognized a few years later by Luigi Veronelli, the journalist/philosopher who spearheaded the movement toward quality wine and food in Italy: “Paolo and Dina, we owe magnanimity to your wines and magnanimity they will have.”

As we sit down at the large wooden kitchen table, Paolo is quick to remind me that 70% of the wine made in Friuli Venezia Giulia is red even though the region is best known for its whites. He first planted Refosco del Peduncolo Rosso, a native grape that makes a rich, red wine, full of minerality and also has vineyards of Ribolla Nera. His whites are all made with native varieties as well: Ribolla Gialla, Verduzzo and Picolit, and his vineyards are organic.

Paolo’s son, Ivan, who helps run the vineyard with his brother, Pierpaolo, carves Pitina, a local dried meat that pairs perfectly with Cialla wines.


Ivan walks me out to show me the vineyards before I leave. I take a photo looking down the Cialla Valley.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Tags: Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Previous Post Next Post


  1. Just learned about your wonderful blog via a Facebook post by David Downie. The content is wonderful, your perspectives are intriguing, it’s a delight to read and learn from. Please keep up the great work!

Comments are closed.