IDTT 245: Josko Gravner

Posted by Joe Salamone

I'll Drink to That! #245:
Josko Gravner
2004 Gravner Ribolla Gialla Anfora

In the 70s and 80s Gravner produced crisp whites in stainless steel, in the 90s he put his wines in barriques, and later he traveled to Georgia with armed guards to buy amphoras.

Josko Gravner is perhaps the most provocative and influential winemaker in Italy's Friuli region. In his I'll Drink to That! interview he recounts his journey from his family's farm to becoming the relentlessly reflective iconoclast he is today.

During the interview, Gravner mentions that he's discontinuing the production of the Breg, a blend including international grapes. For white, he's devoting all his energies to Ribolla Gialla, which his village is famous for and is arguably Friuli's best indigenous white grape. It felt appropriate to focus on Gravner's Ribolla.

We're happy to offer the 2004 Gravner Ribolla Gialla Anfora at special pricing for I'll Drink to That! listeners. The regular price is $87.95, but we've discounted it to $79.95 for listeners of the podcast.

To receive the special pricing, please use the IDTTFORME promotion code.You can purchase online, over the phone or by replying to this email.

Few producers have reflected on their winemaking and evolved as constantly and radically as Gravner has. You should definitely check out the interview for a very rich and insightful chronicle of these changes.

There were a couple of pivotal moments that I have to highlight. In the 80s, Gravner traveled to California and was shocked by the technical sophistication. For him, it was too much and he returned wanting to work without the aid of technology. He increasingly sought to work in an old-fashioned, less manipulative style. This led to his first experiments with amphora in 1997.

The second key moment came when Gravner traveled to Georgia and witnessed winemaking that impressed him as being one hundred years behind what Gravner was used to. This was exactly the direction that he wanted to go in.

For Gravner, wines are either alive or dead. His adopting primitive methods, minimal sulphur, etc. all seek to endow his wines with as much unmediated expressiveness as possible. This is a great way to underscore Gravner's sensibilities and his far-reaching influence on a generation of winemakers across the world. This is a rare and riveting interview of one of the most fascinating producers around.

To order, reply to or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits