Schioppettino – Ribolla nera

Schioppettino since 1282 (Ribolla nera)

The earlier records of the Schioppettino tell a story of this wine being used in marriage ceremonies since 1282.

Mainly grown in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region of northeast Italy, it is believed to have originated between the Comune of Prepotto and the Slovenian border. Known in the Friulian language as Sclopetin because of the sound the grape makes when you eat it, this red wine variety means “little gunshot” or “little crack”, and it is also recognised as “Ribolla Nera”. 

The Schioppettino grape was nearly lost to extinction in the late 19th century because of the phylloxera epidemic, but the vineyard owners decided against replanting this variety in favour of French wine grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon blanc and Merlot. Some isolated plantings continued to exist until the 1978 European Union decree encouraged its cultivation in the province of Udine.

The Schioppettino is today found mainly in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region and Slovenia. The grape has recently gone to the USA, being planted in the California region of Sonoma County.