Ronchi di Cialla Schioppettino di Cialla | 1992


Schioppettino is as Friulian as Cuban sandwiches are, well, Cuban. Since the Middle Ages, Schioppettino was prized for its intense personality, and more significantly, its rarity, as its prime cultivation was limited to two villages in Friuli: Cialla and Prepotto. When planted outside of these micro-zones, Schioppettino just wasn’t the same — it was flat, versus being its alive, piquant, and supremely crunchy self. In the middle of the nineteenth century, Phylloxera raged and destroyed the majority of Schioppettino vines. Consequently, farmers replanted the easier-to-grow, and easier-to-sell, international varietals, and for most of the 20th century, Schioppettino went "POOF!" 

You can’t talk about Schioppettino's revival without talking about Ronchi Di Cialla. At the end of the 1960s, Friulian bureaucrats considered the grape extinct and excluded it from the list of approved Friulian varieties. Then in 1970, the Rapuzzi family founded Ronchi di Cialla and joined forces with the mayor of neighboring Prepotto. Together, they uncovered sixty vines of Schioppettino and selected the best shoots to repropagate the grape in Cialla. 1977 marked their first commercial vintage and since then, the family has held back vintages in their cellar, sharing with the world Schioppettino’s greatness.

With its rich history and story of survival, this 1992 is a bargain compared to other library wine offerings. After popping the cork, the nose lightly crackles with violets, white pepper, and crumbles of dark earth. More medium body than full, dried red berries linger in the back, and more of that Christmas cake clove-cocoa spice moves to the forefront. With almost 30 years under its cork (with some topping-off) the 1992 vintage shows-off the marvelous aging capability of a truly indigenous grape. ~Allegra A

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