With only about 230 acres planted, and almost all of it in Friuli, it is not surprising that Pignolo is little known, even to fans of Italian wine. In fact, not long very ago, Pignolo was almost completely forgotten, a near-fatal victim of Italy’s 20th century shunning of the more difficult autochthonous grapes – and there are many of them. Pignolo is indeed far from a simple proposition in both the vineyard and the winery. It not only produces frugal and uneven yields, but is also presents an oenological challenge due to its robust tannin profile. However, with a modern push for more ‘serious’ wines and a renewed assuredness in the traditional varieties of the region, Friulian winemakers have been steadily turning back to Pignolo. The wines tend to the intensely fruited and structured, and take well to extended aging, both in barrel and bottle.