Schioppettino is a dark-skinned grape variety native to Friuli-Venezia Giulia in the far northeastern corner of Italy. Having declined massively in the late 19th and 20th centuries, it was saved from extinction in the 1970s, and is now regaining the respect and recognition it once had.
Most Schioppettino wines are medium bodied, deeply colored, aromatic on the nose (violets and red berries) and spicy to the palate (peppery, earthy). Schioppettino is most often produced as a dry red wine, but can also be made into sparkling spumante versions, a local specialty of Friuli.
The finest Schioppettino wines come from the Colli Orientali del Friuli (the eastern hills of Friuli), which mark the border between Italy and Slovenia (where the variety goes by the name Pocalza). The variety grows particularly well around the hillside parishes of Cialla and Prepotto, less than a mile from the Slovenian border. Schioppettino wines from Prepotto have even been granted their own (rather lengthy) DOC title, Friuli Colli Orientali Schioppettino di Prepotto. The variety is also used in blends, most often with the equally fascinating and idiosyncratic Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso.