Originally a Bordeaux grape, where it gives its best in the Pomerol region. It has become the most widely planted red grape in Friuli since Senator Pecile and Count Brazzà introduced it in 1880. It spread very quickly; indeed, already in 1886 Count Savorgnan di Brazzà won the gold medal at Cividale, where he presented it for the first time. This grape has perfectly adapted to our microclimates and soils, so much so that the wines made from Merlot are of the finest quality and character.
1398. The Benedictine monks’ wine had a reputation for being medicinal, if it is true that “In 1398 Francesco di Carrara asked the Signoria of Venice for permission to transport from Friuli to Padua, through Venetian waters and ports, twenty barrels of Pignòlo wine for his consumption and health because his doctors had so advised him. The Signoria granted him an exemption from excise and taxes, of course” (State Archives, Venice, Senato misti, vol. 44, c 37 v.).
1930. In his Atlante Ampelografico (atlas of the native vines of Friuli), Guido Poggi tells us that Professor Dalmasso wrote in a tasting note for a 1930 Pignolo, “A singular kind of wine: de luxe?”. He was spot on: Pignolo is a de luxe wine, but it took many years to prove it.
1978. Together with Manlio Collavini, the writer rented the ancient vineyards of Rosazzo Abbey, which were the nursery of this wine in the centuries of the Benedictine community (1091- 1423). He found only two Pignolo vines in the abandoned vineyards, and so he started with those.
1984. The first harvest. He vinified the wine like a great red for long ageing. He was proved right years later, in 2000, when, in a tasting session with Luigi Veronelli (who was the first to talk about it) 1985 was declared the best vintage. In November 2015 the 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1999 vintages were tasted: still superb. It was said that the 1999 vintage could get as far as 2030 in excellent condition!
2014. Nero Magis is created.
2015. Nero Magis Riserva is created. They share the same “soul”, Pignolo.