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  • Writer's pictureFrancesca De Franco

VIGNA PETRUSSA: An All-Female Affair of Love, Passion, Hard Work and Sustainable Winemaking

Vigna Petrussa

Vigna Petrussa, an environmentally-friendly boutique winery in the Friuli region of north-east Italy (right by the Slovenian border), is a family business dating back to 1850. Since inception it has been dedicated to producing predominantly indigenous wines, and for the past three generations (over 150 years) women have been at the helm of its wine production. The ethos of love, passion, meticulous work and strong character is reflected in the wines made. Vigna Petrussa has been awarded the SQNPI - Italian National Quality System for Integrated Production - which is a sustainability certification, and indeed taking care of the land is front and centre of what they do.

Quality and indigenous varieties: the heart of Vigna Petrussa

The winery's eight hectares of land, located in one of the best wine-making corners within the Colli Orientali del Friuli DOC, produce circa 40,000 bottles a year. Here the focus is very much on quality over quantity. Multi-award-winning wine writer Ian d’Agata, who is one of the leading experts in Italian wine, described Vigna Petrussa as one of Italy’s best and most under the radar estates.

Whilst major international varieties are produced (such as Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon) it is the autochthonous grapes that are the real shining stars including Ribolla Gialla, Friulano, Picolit, Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso and Schioppettino.

Sampling some of Vigna Petrussa's wines

Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso - 2018

Dark-skinned Refosco is native to the Friuli Venezia Giulia region with the sub-variety Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso (Penduncolo Rosso referring to this grape’s red stem) considered the king in terms of producing the best quality wines.

Vigna Petrussa's Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso 2018 is a lovely ruby colour with violet tinges. On the nose there's red fruits with ripe and dried cherry notes that come through along with herbaceous aromas, which winemaker Hilde Petrussa describes as dry summer hay. The palate reveals plum butter, a delicate warming pepperiness and a continuation of black cherries with almond.

This is a velvety, well rounded and full-bodied red wine, which has a delicate acidity and soft tannins.

Amongst its numerous accolades is the award of ‘two glasses - due biccheri’ from Italian wine authority Gambero Rosso.

This is a wonderful wine and I’m amazed that it is just €15.00 (when purchased in Italy). I hope that it becomes available to purchase directly in the UK soon.

Schioppettino di Prepotto DOC Friuli Colli Orientali - 2020

Schioppettino aka Ribolla Nera is a dark-skinned grape variety native to Friuli Venezia Giulia. Head winemaker Hilde Petrussa loves native varieties and in particular has championed Schioppettino 'the forgotten grape,' which was brought back from the brink of extinction.

Vigna Petrussa's Schioppettino di Prepotto DOC Friuli Colli Orientali 2020 is a wonderful ruby red; it is black cherry, peppery and savoury on the nose with herb and spice notes and even a subtle mushroom. It has 24 months of ageing in wood and a further 12 months in the bottle, and this produces a medium-bodied wine, which has plenty going on. It is elegant and definitely has the 'crackle' that its name suggests!

I really enjoyed this and loved the warm and gentle spiciness. I was again pleasantly surprised about the price (€19.00).

Vigna Petrussa - Schioppettino

The 2019 Schioppettino won the outstanding ‘3 Bicchieri’ award, the highest honour bestowed by Gambero Rosso -


Vigna Petrussa


The Richenza 2020 is a cuvée made of grapes from old indigenous vines Friulano, Malvasia Istriana, Picolit and Riesling.

I'm not uncorking this just yet as it has very good aging potential and will become richer and more complex. Stay tuned...  


From what I have sampled so far, I am in complete agreement with Ian d’Agata. To find out more about this hidden gem visit the website:

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