Schiopettino [skyah-peh-TEE-noh]

Schiopettino (meaning "gunshot" or "little crack" a.k.a "Ribolla Nera") is a red Italian wine grape grown predominately in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of northeast Italy. Schioppettino can produce fine reds that are medium to full in body (especially for that region) and similar in aromas and flavors to Syrah.

The grape is believed to have originated between the comune of Prepotto and the Slovenian border where records of the Schiopettino wine being used in marriage ceremonies date to 1282. The grape was nearly lost to extinction following the phylloxera epidemic of the late 19th century when vineyard owners decided against replanting the variety in favor of French wine grapes like Cabernet franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot gris, Sauvignon blanc and Merlot. Some isolated plantings continued to exist until a 1978 European Union decree encouraged its planting in the province of Udine.

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