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Picolit is a vine native to Friuli, characterized by female flowers, fruit  and low productivity.

The current name is Picolit, but in the past it was also called Piccolito, Piccolit, Piccolitto Friulano.

Uncertain are its origins: the agronomist Antonio Zanon (1696 - 1770), merchant and entrepreneur, suggests that it is a vine of African origin moved to France where his wine was popularly called "Piquepoulle." According to Gaetano Perusini, Friuli’s traditions historian and Picolit winemaker at Rosazzo, the Friulian origin of the grape is certain.
Most authors, however, place the first references to the cultivation of Picolit at the beginning of ‘700.
To strengthen the Friulian origin intervenes Gallesio, pomologist  and ampelographer, in his 1822 book Pomona Italiana ossia Trattato degli alberi fruttiferi , writing: "Friuli is the country of Picolit, evidence suggests that it has not been transported there from another climate, but that it originated from a seed developed in that place by accident, and then the people probably cultivated and propagated it as soon as they felt the sweetness and fragrance of the grape that it produces ... ".

However, it’s to the count Asquini from Fagagna (agronomist, lived between 1726 and 1818) the merit of "giving birth" to the cultivation and marketing of Picolit.
In December 1761 he drew up a manuscript entitled Della maniera di piantare, allevare, e condurre una vigna a pergolato e del modo di fare il vino Piccolit, e di schiarirlo [The way to plant, nurture, and lead "a
pergolato" vineyard and how to make Piccolit wine, and lighten it] (Asquini, 1761), where he reported all the procedures adopted in the cultivation and transformation of Picolit.
His work began from the very beginning, working out the implant rules of a specialized vineyard
tenuta a pergolato?, supported by dry poles, a very different system from the common ones. Innovative are also the winemaking techniques and the prior drying of grapes. Asquini dwells at length to describe how he had equipped a room with wooden poles and pegs so he could hang the bunches. The grapes had to be left to dry until mid-December or until Christmas. With cold weather it had then to be carefully plucked eliminating all moldy grapes, while only the rotten ones could be used: he had already identified what we now call "noble rot", that is the infection of Botrytis cinerea which gives rise to efflorescence of mold.

 

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