The vineyards of the domaine curl over the hills passing seamlessly across the border of Italy into the slopes of Slovenia. Meticulously maintained, the rows of grapevines settle into terraces that are dotted throughout with trees and bodies of water designed to attract wildlife and assure biodiversity. Gravner is steadily replanting to assure the primacy of the autochthonous grape varieties of Ribolla and Pignolo. After determining that stainless steel was not a proper marriage for his wines in the 1990s, Josko Gravner decided to follow the ancient wine-producing techniques used in the Caucasus and has began fermenting his wines in huge amphorae buried in the ground in his cellars in 2001, with a full conversion for all wines as of 2004. The whites, which make up about 85% of the estate’s production, spend about 10 months total in amphorae, with the reds a shorter 1 to 2 months. He insists on aging his wines in large barrels for many years so release dates for most wines are from 7 to 10 years and more from the date of harvest.
Bianco Breg: The classic Gravner blend of Riesling Italico, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon and Chardonnay, fermented separately but blended and aged together. A textbook example of the Gravner approach: long maceration, wild yeasts, no temperature control; after the extended cuvaison and additional five months in amphorae, the wine has been aged for six years in large oak barrels; bottled unfined and unfiltered.