He passed away in his sleep on August 13, said his son Ivan.
Rapuzzi was a much beloved figure in Friuli, where his legacy as a pioneer in reviving indigenous grape varieties continues to shape local viticulture.
He was among the first in a wave of growers who embraced native grapes in the late 1970s.
And his superb wines — especially his coveted Picolit — are treasured by Italian wine insiders.
Please see this profile of Rapuzzi that I wrote for the Colli Orientali del Friuli consortium a few years back.
Google him and you will find that many of my peers and colleagues were inspired by him as well. He was a sweet and gentle man and he shared a little bit of his magic with everyone he touched.
His contribution to Friulian — and Italian — viticulture played a fundamental role in the current Italian wine renaissance.