Wine Culture and Information - Volume 17
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  Wine Producers Issue 14, December 2003   
Mario SchiopettoMario Schiopetto Cellar JournalCellar Journal  Contents 
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Mario Schiopetto

Mario Schiopetto is one of those extraordinary persons who made Italian wine great in the world. His wines, result of true passion, are the genuine image of their territory: Collio

 Talking about Mario Schiopetto means, besides talking about the great wines of Collio, to tell the story of modern Italian enology. Thanks to great men, just like Mario Schiopetto who worked and believed in his ideas, Italian wine is now considered great again as a consequence of a formidable process of innovation and improvement of quality. Mario Schiopetto comes from a family which produces wines since three generations. Son of Giorgio, owner of the historical tavern “Ai Pompieri” in Udine, Mario Schiopetto received from his father the great passion for wine, fine wine, and he will later be considered as the real father of the Enology in Friuli Venezia Giulia. Mario Schiopetto travels in the main wine countries of Europe, in the historical wineries of France and Germany with the clear intent of learning the secrets of great quality wines: an experience that will be useful to realize his project, the one of making Friuli's wine great. During his journeys abroad he learns the modern and important techniques useful for the production of excellent and quality wine, however he knows this is not enough to make great wines.


The Schiopetto family. On the lower
left, Mario Schiopetto
The Schiopetto family. On the lower left, Mario Schiopetto

 The territory where Mario Schiopetto intends to realize his ambitious dream is in the Gorizia's Collio, one of the great wine areas in Friuli Venezia Giulia, and he understands from the beginning the technical notions he learnt abroad must be patiently adapted to the nature of his land, an unique and particular place. Mario Schiopetto is an autodidact with an excellent capacity of intuition and in 1965 he finally is successful in realizing his ambitions and rents an old winery in Gorizia from the bishop's see that he will later buy in 1989. In his winery he applies from the very beginning principles of simplicity, technology and sensibility for his territory while continuously improving his knowledge acquired during his journeys abroad. His indisputable and deep knowledge is passed to his sons Maria Angela, Carlo and Giorgio who run the winery successfully today, located in the hills of Capriva del Friuli, in the province of Gorizia. The winery currently have 30 hectares of vineyards (about 74 acres) located nearby the historical palace of the bishop's see, as well as Blumeri estate which is located not far from the wine area of Colli Orientali del Friuli, at Oleis, in the hills of Rosazzo.

 The production of the winery is based on a philosophy which supports the idea there is nothing to invent, but everything to be understood. According to Mario Schiopetto «Good wine is the most genuine expression of the territory as well as the expression of men which created it. In order to make good wine the respect for nature and men is the first and fundamental requisite». The sensibility, according to the winery's philosophy, «takes its origin from an ancient and uninterrupted dialog with nature. A unique treasure, a richness of the soul», a principle Mario Schiopetto always believed in even before establishing his famous winery in 1965 and that he understood when he was a kid and listened to the wine “gurgling” in the casks of his father's tavern. This principle subsequently developed in the 1950's by traveling all over Europe and visiting the best wineries. In France and in Germany Mario Schiopetto acquired an unique patrimony of experiences who then decided to donate to Friuli, his beloved land, by establishing his winery. That's how he started to put into practice what he learnt during his journeys by applying the concepts to the unique land of Gorizia's Collio, while believing of not having invented anything but just tried to understand his land, the climate and the character of his hills by simply observing the harmony of nature. On these simple principles is still based the activity of Mario Schiopetto's winery. By applying and using the great experience of the father Mario, not only founder of the winery but also father of the wine culture in Friuli, before him, his father Giorgio, very appreciated host in Udine in the beginning of 1900's, today are his sons who inherited the huge and precious heritage of the winery. Maria Angela, Carlo and Giorgio continue today the impressive job of their father which is based on ancient traditions and is always origin of stories to be told, made of sensibility and respect, of love for tradition and of that genuine passion for wine which always characterized Mario Schiopetto.


A view from Mario Schiopetto's
vineyards
A view from Mario Schiopetto's vineyards

 The winery is located in the hills of Capriva del Friuli and the new cellar was built by following the hints and the sensibility of architect Tobia Scarpa, therefore originating an union of technique, order and rationality. The new winery was personally designed by Mario Schiopetto and its construction started in 1989, giving the priority to a better management of work places, therefore trying to apply a logic of usability instead of aesthetics. The structure was designed in order to allow a practical course of the wine production phases, from grapes to the finished product. The new winery was completed in 1992 and its “heart” is represented by the yeasts room, a fundamental element of the winery's philosophy and of the productive process. Here it is done the multiplication of autochthonous yeasts, according to the many wine styles, needed for the fermentation process. Moreover other modern technologies have been adopted in order to reduce the possibilities of error and therefore to follow the ancient art of the production of excellent wines.

 The historical vineyards of Mario Schiopetto's winery are located at Capriva del Friuli, in the province of Gorizia, and here are cultivated the grapes Tocai, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc in an ideal environment that allows them to give their best. In 1996 the winery bought Blumeri estate, which is located few kilometers north-west from the historical headquarter, in the fertile hills in Rosazzo, at Oleis. This place, with a magic and sweet name, has a particular historical tradition both to vine and olive. The new estate was chosen by Maria Angela, Giorgio and Carlo, sons of Mario Schiopetto, because the soil has a composition similar to the ones in Capriva del Friuli, of course the climate is different and however suited to favor the maturation of red grapes. Vineyards in Olesis have been restored and destined to the production of important wines and its name, Blumeri estate, derives from an ancient carnival tradition of Colli Orientali del Friuli.


 

 The selection of wines of Mario Schiopetto's winery is pretty vast and the production is made both with local and international grapes. Among typical grapes there is Tocai Friulano, the famous white berried grape of Friuli Venezia Giulia vinified alone for Tocai Friulano and Pardes wines, the latter fermented and aged in cask for about 10 months. Among mono varietal white wines there are Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Sauvignon, all fermented and aged in steel tanks. Among other white wines, Mario Schiopetto produces Blanc des Rosis, “historical” wine from Tocai Friulano, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Malvasia and Ribolla grapes; Mario Schiopetto Bianco, produced with Chardonnay and Tocai Friulano of which a part ferments in cask; Amrità Pinot Blanc, produced with the homonymous grape, fermented and aged for about 10 months in cask; Tarsia Sauvignon, fermented and aged in cask for about 10 months. Among red wines there are Rivarossa, produced with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot grapes, aged for 14-15 months in barrique; and Blumeri Rosso, produced with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso grapes, aged for 14-15 months in barrique.

 




Score legend

Fair    Pretty Good    Good
Very Good    Excellent
Wine that excels in its category Wine that excels in its category
Prices are to be considered as indicative. Prices may vary according to the country
or the shop where wines are bought




Rivarossa 2001, Schiopetto (Italy)
Rivarossa 2001
Schiopetto (Italy)
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon (35%), Cabernet Franc (35%), Merlot (30%)
Price: € 16,00 Score: Wine that excels in its category
The wine shows a brilliant ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, moderate transparency. The nose denotes intense, clean, pleasing and elegant aromas which open up with aromas of fruits such as black cherry, blackberry, blueberry, raspberry, black currant and plum followed by pleasing hints of vanilla and carob. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a slightly tannic attack however well balanced by alcohol, intense flavors and good body. The finish is persistent with good flavors of black cherry, plum and blueberry . Rivarossa ages in barrique for about 14-15 months.
Food Match: Braised meat with mushrooms, Roasted meat, Hard cheese



Collio Tocai Friulano 2002, Schiopetto (Italy)
Collio Tocai Friulano 2002
Schiopetto (Italy)
Grapes: Tocai Friulano
Price: € 16,00 Score: Wine that excels in its category
This wine shows a brilliant straw yellow color and nuances of straw yellow, very transparent. The nose denotes intense, clean, elegant and pleasing aromas of apple, pear, peach, almond and hawthorn followed by pleasing hints of broom and elder. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a crisp and pleasing attack however well balanced, good body and intense flavors. The finish is persistent with pleasing flavors of almond, peach and pear. This Tocai Friulano ferments in steel tanks and ages for 7-8 months on lees.
Food Match: Roasted fish, Crustaceans, Paste and risotto with fish, Sauteed white meat



Blanc des Rosis 2002, Schiopetto (Italy)
Blanc des Rosis 2002
Schiopetto (Italy)
Grapes: Tocai Friulano (40%), Pinot Grigio (20%), Sauvignon Blanc (15%), Malvasia Istriana (15%), Ribolla Gialla (10%)
Price: € 16,00 Score:
The wine shoes a beautiful and brilliant straw yellow color and nuances of straw yellow, very transparent. The nose reveals intense, clean, elegant and refined aromas which open up with fruits such as pear, peach, apple and lemon followed by pleasing aromas of hawthorn, broom, almond and hazelnut. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a pleasing crisp attack however well balanced, good body and intense flavors. The finish is persistent with good and clean flavors of peach, pear and almond. Blanc des Rosis ferments in steel tanks and 5% of Malvasia Istriana ferments in cask.
Food Match: Roasted fish, Crustaceans, Pasta and risotto with fish, Soft cheese



Azienda Agricola Mario Schiopetto - Via Palazzo Arcivescovile, 1 - 34070 Capriva del Friuli (Gorizia) Tel. 0481 80332 Fax 0481 808073 - Winemaker: Giorgio Schiopetto e Stefano Menotti - Established: 1965 - Production: 210.000 bottles - E-Mail: azienda@schiopetto.it - WEB: www.schiopetto.it


 Wine Tasting  Share this article     Summary of Wine Producers column Events 
  Wine Producers Issue 14, December 2003   
Mario SchiopettoMario Schiopetto Cellar JournalCellar Journal  Contents 
Issue 13, November 2003 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 15, January 2004

Cellar Journal


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 Wine Tasting  Share this article     Summary of Wine Producers column Events 
  Wine Producers Issue 14, December 2003   
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