We drove up the winding road through rolling green hills and vineyards stretching as far as the eye could see to Azienda Agricola Mario Schiopetto, one of the Friuli Venezia Giulia’s leading wineries. Located in the Capriva del Friuli, Schiopetto is also one of the Collio’s historical wineries. Mario Schiopetto started producing highly controversial wines in 1965; his wines literally ushered in a new era of Italian wine. Today, the family carries on Mario’s traditions and were more than happy to spend some time with us showing us their wine making process.
We first toured the cellar, which was designed by Mario himself and completed in 1992. We wandered by the huge press, where the grapes begin their journey to becoming a fine wine. From the press, the juice stays in tanks for less than one day and head to the fermentation process. The heart of the cellar is a small room that uses temperature control to multiply the yeasts and start the fermentation process.
For anyone that enjoys white wines, Schiopetto is the wine maker to enjoy them from. Of their wine production, 90% is white and Schiopetto is one of Italy’s best white wine producers. We especially enjoyed the 2009 Bianco, a blend of two grapes: 55% Chardonnay and 45% Tocai Friulano. The Chardonnay grapes come from the Colli Orientali del Friuli and the Tocai Friulano is a classic grape from Collio Goriziano, representing the blending of the Friuli and the Venezia Giulia that together form Italy’s north eastern most region. The grapes are vinified separately in stainless steel tanks and then transferred to French oak for 9 months of aging. The wine then rests in the bottles before going to the market. It is full and crisp with aromas of vanilla and black tea, though has surprising notes of tropical fruits. It pairs deliciously with salads, fish, white meats, and scallops.
We couldn’t resist trying a red and we were recommended the 2008 Podere Dei Blumeri Rosso. The wine is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso. It has an elegant taste with notes of cherries, plums, and other red fruits. It’s a bit smoky with a spiciness of white pepper. It pairs well with red meats and long aging cheeses.
Know Before You Go
- Visits must be requested using Schiopetto’s online contact form.