Bastianich Winery was established in 2007 by restaurateur Joe Bastianich, a Queens born Italian-American culinary celebrity. Bastianich has long been an advocate of Italian wines, with a focus on wines from Friuli-Venezia Giulia, which he has highlighted in a number of ventures including Eataly, Babbo, and Del Posto. Bastianich Winery is located just outside the town of Cividale del Friuli, near Udine about an hour and a half from Venice.
Schioppettino, also knowns as Ribolla Nera, is a notable red varietal that should be more well-known than it is. The soil of Friuli's hillside vineyards, with its mix of clay and stone, provides the perfect condition for this grape. Schioppettino thrives in these calcium-rich terraces, which gives the wine its body and structure along with minerality and salinity. The rocky soil promotes drainage during wet weather while the clay retains moisture in times of drought. Even the color of the soil is important. The light brown color reflects the summer sun to keep the vine roots cool, limiting vine vigor and increasing hang time. These many factors combine to make excellent wine.
The color is ruby red with hints of violet. Aromas of spicy notes, like black pepper, followed by delicate fruit, are evident and defined. On the palate the texture is balanced and elegant with fine tannins and acidity. Its varietal character is evident, reminiscent of Pinot Noir, and more refined than some rustic red wines of the region. Schioppettino pairs well with antipasti, light meat dishes, skewered meats, and mature cheeses.