In a Galaxy far, far away… an unimagined stellar constellation has been discovered.
Part of an erstwhile ‘unknown’ Parallel Universe, awash with wine-making stars, 58 of whom have yielded to the gravitational force of a diminutive grape,
And it’s doing very nicely, thank you very much for asking. Infact its state of health today is better than at any time in its not-so-well documented ancient history. Word from the beat has it that in centuries past, it was grown far and wide in this region.
At the turn of the last century (i.e. 1900’s), things began to change dramatically. Phylloxera hit Friuli. With Mildew, both Powdery & Downey, having already done the rounds of the vineyards in the late 1800’s, this terrible threesome almost spelt disaster for viticulture in these parts.
With limited available documentation, we are left to speculate much about what really happened to PIGNOLO and a vast spectrum of Friuli’s native grape heritage. Misguided commercial interests unfortunately didn’t help. But one thing we are sure of is that PIGNOLO was certainly kept alive in the Rosazzo area by Domenico ‘Menut’ Casasola. It was his uphill struggle that kept the proverbial yard & cellar door open, long enough for those who followed to establish PIGNOLO’s quality credentials.
Speaking of Quality, in that department, particular credit must go to the efforts of two MARVEL-esque Vignerons. First to micro-vinify was Friuli’s legendary Rossista, Girolamo DORIGO who began his Buttrio vineyard planting in 1968/69. Hot on his heels, came the celebrated author & winemaker Walter FILIPUTTI in 1978/79, with his work in Rosazzo, on the hill below the Abbey.
A poetically potent tale, brimful with legend and myth, it was only in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s that producer numbers really began to swell. Today we’ve reached a staggering 58 vignaioli, and we’re not done yet. Quite literally, PIGNOLO is moving into a league of its own.
At that time, there was no inkling of what we’d eventually uncover. Our initial trawl had turned up the names of only 15 winery’s. We thought, sure who knows, we might get lucky and turn up another 5. When our subsequent trips through the hills and yards brought us ‘TO & BEYOND’ 25 Cellars, gravity began pulling us into this Parallel world. What was born as a simple, curious thought has surely begun to manifest itself into a far reaching vision.
23rd JANUARY 2018 is THE record breaking date. The GREATEST gathering of PIGNOLO wine-makers EVER assembled on Planet Earth. Of the 58 Custodians, all of whom expressed their wish to be present, 42 successfully made it to the comfort of THENATIVEGRAPES.COM lounge. Their first RECORD is SET. The cool thing is, only they themselves can break it !
Is FRIULI on the brink of a grand NEW ERA in WINE-MAKING ?
TIME will tell… it’s all about keepin’ eyes on the HOURGLASS.