(by the way, EU regulations on wine are changing...see here), that is mainly known for dry whites and sweet wines made from Verduzzo and Picolit. This wine is a bit of an odd-ball. Italy is known for what I'm going to loosely describe as a shit-load of indigenous grapes...Refosco and Schippettino are two of them. Refosco is native to Northern Italy and is also grown in Croatia and Slovenia. Unfortuantely, there isn't too much information about it available. (This seems to be the case with many of Italy's unique grapes.) Schioppettino, on the other hand, has a story surrounding it.
Schioppettino is also known as Ribolla Nera, means something akin to "gunshot" in Italian, and was first mentioned in the 13th century. Despite all of its' history, it almost went extinct when vineyard owners planted more international vines in response to the phylloxera outbreak. Schioppettino was literally saved from extinction by one man--Paolo Rapuzzi. Paolo Rapuzzi planted his vineyards in the late 1960's in Cialla. For unknown reasons, he scoured Northern Italy looking for Schioppettino. There apparently were less than 100 vines in existence. However, he ended up planting Schioppettino (despite the fact that it wasn't a legal variety to plant), most likely saving it from extinction in the process. All of the "known" Schioppettino comes from his root-stock now. (I suppose there could be some growing wild, or someone inadvertantly growing it in their backyard.)
This wine is from the Rapuzzi family winery--Ronchi di Cialla. 9$ at Wine Expo. (9$ is a crazy price for an 11 year old wine. Just saying.) 12% ABV. A blend of 50% Refosco, and 50% Schioppettino. Slightly green aromas, a bit of pepper, earth, wild cherries, and pine. As the wine opens up more, the green aromas fade away and turn mainly to cherry. Slightly earthy, slightly green flavors and cherries are backed by an acidic, rounded mouth feel. Not much in the way of a finish. This wine is most certainly meant to go with food, due to all of its' acidity and the light frame. In many ways, this reminded me of Dolcetto becuase of its' brisk acidity, friendliness with food, and fruity flavors. This wine went quite well with tomato sauce as well as with chicken. It's an interesting wine, and with food, it shines. The story is definitely interesting, and this is good way to try two unique grapes at once. This wine is certainly not as good as the Ermacora Schioppettino, but if you're interested in the viticultural history of Italy and indigenous grapes, this is worth checking out and is relatively inexpensive (if you can find it!). I've certainly had worse wines than this in many ways! C/C+ (For this history/Unique factor)