Pignolo is a red grape variety known for its dark colour, intense aromas, and powerful tannins. It is primarily grown in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, a northeastern region of Italy. Despite the name, Pignolot is unrelated to Emilia-Romagna's Pignoletto, or Lombardy's Pignola.

Colour, Aromas and Taste Profile

The grape has a dark blue-black colour, with a woody, spicy, and a tannic, full-bodied taste. It produces wines that are high in alcohol, with intense flavours of blackberry, blueberry and plum. Pignolo is known to be among the most tannic grape varieties in Italy.

Fresh Pignolo grapes on the vine

Regional Features & Food Pairings

Pignolo is primarily grown in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of Italy, where it is used to make a varietal wine, as well as blended with other varieties. It is also grown in small amounts in the Veneto, Trentino-Alto Adige, and Lombardy regions. Pignolo is a difficult grape to cultivate. It is a relatively low-yielding variety, and sentitive to various diseases. It's best grown in well-ventilated, sunny sites. Because of its high tannin level, Pignolo wine is often aged for a years before its release. The most famous example of Pignolo is from the Colli Orientali del Friuli DOC, where it is blended with other local varieties, such as Refosco and Schioppettino. Other regional styles include dry and semi-sweet, as well as sparkling wines. Pignolo is a great accompaniment to dishes with rich sauces and game meats. It also pairs well with hard cheeses, cured meats, and stews.

Foods to pair with Pignolo:

Light meat
Fun Fact about Pignolo
Pignolo is the Italian word for "fussy", which is fitting for this difficult-to-grow grape variety. However, the etymology of the name of the grape comes from "pigno", which refers to the pinecone shaped bunch.

Top Wines with Pignolo

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