Log In / Join Now

Mario Schiopetto, a Top Wine Producer in Northern Italy, Dies

The Friuli winemaker was best known for his excellent whites.

Posted: April 29, 2003

One of Italy's greatest white-wine producers, Mario Schiopetto, died last Wednesday, April 23, after an extended battle with cancer. He was 72.

For decades, the quiet winemaker produced and promoted the best white wines of Friuli Venezia—Giulia in northeast Italy, in particular the subregion of Collio. He excelled in making aromatic, clean and refined whites from such varieties as Pinot Grigio, Tocai Friulano and Pinot Bianco, as well as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Most of his wine never touched oak barrels in their maturation, since he preferred to emphasize the grape type and not the wood.

The Schiopetto family owns nearly 75 acres of vineyards in Friuli and annually produces almost 20,000 cases under its Schiopetto and Podere dei Blumeri labels. Mario started bottling his own wines in the mid-1960s.

Schiopetto is survived by his wife, Gloria; his twin sons, Carlo and Giorgio, 31; and his daughter, Maria Angela, 34. The latter is in charge of the estate's administration. Carlo handles wine sales in Italy, and Giorgio oversees the family's vineyards and winery. Stefano Mennotti remains as the winemaker.

-- James Suckling

Would you like to comment? Want to join or start a discussion?

Become a WineSpectator.com member and you can!
To protect the quality of our conversations, only members may submit comments. Member benefits include access to more than 315,000 reviews in our Wine Ratings Search; a first look at ratings in our Insider, Advance and Tasting Highlights; Value Wines; the Personal Wine List/My Cellar tool, hundreds of wine-friendly recipes and more.

WineRatings+ app: Download now for 340,000+ ratings.