Bianco Breg 2011
A Wine That
speaks of history. This is a snapshot of the last 100 years in this part of the world: a village straddling the Italian and Slovenian borders. This wine is no longer made — it is truly a vinous document that lets you peek into the past. The vineyards it came from were replanted to indigenous varieties in 2012, but this beautiful floral blend of Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Welschriesling is testament to this vineyard's history. Think dried peaches, apricots, hay, wildflowers and strawberries. It is a special and rare opportunity to drink wine from plants that are no more.
▼ Scroll for More Info
- Delivery: Delivery and gift wrapping options available at checkout.
- Winemaker: Gravner
Where and How?
This is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay and Riesling Italico from the biodynamically tended vineyards of Gravner. The vines have since been taken out to be replanted to indigenous varieties, so this wine no longer exists - a morsel of history!
The wine was fermented naturally in Georgian amphorae (qvevri) and buried underground to undergo a long maceration. After spending several months in the qvevri, the wine was then aged for a further six years in old oak barrels. Bottled unfined, unfiltered and with just a touch of sulphur.
Imagine your region becomes a war zone, everybody is evacuated, your house becomes a first aid Red Cross base, and then one day you wake up and you find yourself in a new country? That is what happened to the Gravner family when the Austro-Hungarian Empire was dissolved after the first world war, borders were moved, and they found themselves in Italy, not Slovenia.
The family was suddenly thrust headfirst into a completely new wine market. Later, this market would develop into something considered very modern at the time; international varieties were planted, such as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, instead of the indigenous Ribolla Gialla and Pignolo. Technological winemaking – lab-cultured yeasts and stainless steel tanks were introduced in the 70s, replacing the traditional methods of skin maceration and barrel ageing.
Although his ‘modern wines’ were selling well, and there was consistent demand for them, something didn’t feel quite right to Joško Gravner. On a trip to California in the 80s, he was shocked by the new additives being used in winemaking and decided to change course. Little did he know when he threw these modern techniques away, that he would one day be considered one of the thought leaders of a modern return to ancestral winemaking.
We had the chance to speak with Mateja Gravner, Joško's daughter, to hear the full story.