Macerated Whites from Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Alsace, and Piedmont Joško Gravner, like many of the greatest vintners in the RWM portfolio, is a revolutionary. Never satisfied with the status quo, he has completely transformed his vines, tanks, barrels, and wines throughout his career, always striving to more clearly communicate the historically renowned terroir of his home […]
By Eric Asimov
The best examples of these white wines, made with red techniques, are striking and wonderful. Still some dismiss this ancient wine, now trendy once more.
From a distance, what divides white wines from reds seems pretty clear. Yes, the color is obvious, but it’s also the methods of production.
To make red wine, the producer begins by macerating the juice of the grapes with the pigment-bearing skins. This adds not only color to the juice but also tannins, which contribute texture and structure to the darkening wine. When the fermentation is complete and the winemaker is satisfied, the wine is drawn off the skins to begin the aging process.
“Wines like those from Josko Gravner…”
“Farther south, in Umbria, Paolo Bea produces Arboreus, a waxy, bright and juicy wine made of trebbiano spoletino.”
It is no exaggeration to count Josko Gravner among the most influential winegrowers of the past half-century, and in the world of non-interventionist wine his impact is perhaps unmatched. His revival of the ancient practice of white-wine skin-maceration over two decades ago was certainly not an inevitability, especially considering technology’s ever-increasing role in the winemaking process, and it took someone of Gravner’s vision and tenacity to forge such a path.
“Orange wine” is a bona fide category now, one whose amber-colored tentacles have crept further and further into the mainstream over the past several years. Still, amidst an ocean of skin-contact white wines from every corner of the globe, those of Josko Gravner stand apart. His resurrection of this ancient practice two decades ago was certainly not an inevitability, especially considering technology’s ever-increasing role in the winemaking process, and it took someone of Gravner’s vision and tenacity to forge such a path for himself.
BY IAN D’AGATA | MAY 17, 2018 | No other region in Italy offers as large a selection of outstanding white wines from so many different grape varieties as Friuli Venezia Giulia does, while the region’s native red grapes yield wines that are equally distinctive. Make no mistake about it: Friuli Venezia Giulia is the […]
The Gravner operation is serene, simple, spotless, and small. The tour of the facility is quick, and each space is intelligently designed and spared of clutter or unnecessary objects. There is a holistic feeling throughout the endeavor. Josko was very cheerful and talkative (Mateja is traveling). The wines are as Neal described, and are totally […]
I don’t know if you saw the news—I only saw it reported in Italian outlets—but the Obamas were in Italy last weekend and participated in a wine tasting and dinner where they drank the 2008 Gravner Ribolla Gialla. There was a neat quote about the wine in Corriere della Sera: “Perché questi vini italiani mi […]
When telling the story of Josko Gravner, it’s tempting to fixate on his use of extended skin-contact and his employment of buried terra-cotta amphorae—after all, he was among the very first growers in Italy to revive these ancient techniques, and he is justly celebrated today as a pioneer and a living legend. A less-emphasized—but no […]