Josko Gravner: Friulan Wine Innovator

Josko Gravner poses next to his giant clay amphorae, which he has trucked from Georgia (Tblisi, not Atlanta).

For over 30 years Josko Gravner has been arguably Friuli’s most esteemed and influential winemaker, producing whites to rival those made anywhere in Italy. A renowned pioneer in wine innovation, Gravner has always also been one step ahead of his competitors. Just as soon as he had perfected stainless steel fermentation and temperature control technology in the 1970s, he rejected this approach in favor of barrique fermentation. But he still wasn’t content.

In the late-’90s, Gravner decided that technology and chemicals couldn’t possibly improve on a natural product. He began fermenting his wines in giant terracotta amphorae (pictured above), which he lined with beeswax and buried in the ground in a custom-built stone-wall cellar. Now, each amphora is brought by truck from Georgia (in the former USSR, where they are still commonly in use), to his estate in Oslavia, near the Slovenian border. The resulting white wines drink more like reds: deeply flavorful, dark in color and tannic. This new technique was a leap too far even for some of his most ardent supporters, but Gravner remained convinced he was producing a better wine, and has since begun to win over both the most discerning critics and wine-lovers.

Bianco Breg Anfora 2002
A blend of Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, and Riesling Italico grapes, the Breg Anfora (Italian for “amphora”) offers a notable flavor and rare depth, and was awarded 92 points in Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.
$89

Ribolla Gialla 2001
Ribolla Gialla is one of Friuli’s oldest indigenous varieties — some of the grapes used came from vines planted as far back as 1915. 2001 is the first Ribolla Gialla vintage using the amphora method.
$89

Standard case discount does not apply with this offer.
No same-day delivery.

Vino
121 East 27th Street
New York, NY 10016

For more information call (212) 725-6516 or visit our website, vinositeshop.com.

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One Response to Josko Gravner: Friulan Wine Innovator

  1. this is exactly the kind of chats my family. CYA

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