Gravner

Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy

Josko Gravner Friuli, Italy Josko Gravner has been heralded as one of the greatest and most influential winemakers in Friuli and beyond. In his relentless pursuit of perfection, Gravner pioneered stainless steel fermentation and temperature control technology, then experimented with barrique fermentation producing wines that were quickly celebrated and imitated, before eschewing technology and chemicals to pursue strictly natural winemaking. Currently, the Gravner wines are fermented and aged in underground Georgian clay amphorae. Clay amphorae are believed by many to be the first tanks ever to hold wine-historians have used documents from Georgia (formerly in the USSR) to verify that winemakers have used this ancient practice for more than 4,000 years. Gravner has long been a champion of Ribolla, the oldest grape variety of Friuli and he has chosen to dedicate his production exclusively to the variety going forward. Josko Gravner is an iconoclast, ever-evolving, and embracing of a “new-old” approach. His passion for perfection through experimentation changed Gravner’s pholisophy. he was among the first to combine bio-dynamic winemaking with a more traditional, nonintrusive style in this white wine epicenter. Gravner is a proponent of the use of open-top wood vats and extended maceration on the grape skins, while he eschews added yeasts, sulphur dioxide, and temperature control-in short, he supports purely natural winemaking. Gravner employs both amphorae and large oak barrels to make his three wines: Collio "Breg," Ribolla Gialla, and "Rosso Gravner." The grapes for these wines come from his 18 hectares of vineyards in Gorizia (Oslavia) that straddle the Italian-Slovenian border. It is here that he exercises his current approach to wine. Gravner avers, "I am convinced that wine is a product of Nature, not of Man, whose role therefore is to accompany its maturation process while avoiding any artificial intervention." Every bottle of Gravner’s wines is a testament to the pure beauty of that philosophy.

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