Jösko Gravner might come across as an iconoclast, but his Breg Anfora is rooted more in tradition than disrupting the status quo. This totally natural Sauvignon Blanc blend will blow you away. You might like it, you might not — but we guarantee that you’ve never tasted anything like it, and something you need to do at least once in life.
Jösko ferments his wine in huge clay amphorae (over 30 of them, buried up to the rim in the ground). He collects his grapes from his 40 acre vineyard and dumps them into the amphorae whole, counting on the natural yeast in the environment to start the fermentation process. That can take months, depending upon that year’s harvest and the weather. The 2005 Anfora grape juice remains on the skins, pulp and lees for 7 months, after which Jösko transfers the wine to large, neutral Slovenian oak barrels for aging — usually for years. Jösko bottles his all natural wine when the last crescent of the moon is waning.
It’s tough to call this a “white wine” as it has a rich amber color with copper highlights in the glass, and is probably better described as an “orange wine.” Breg Anfora has a remarkable nose of apricot, dried figs & honey, with nutmeg & woody spices & orange zest coming through on the palate. Unlike most whites, this one has a soft tannic structure that’s quite pleasing. There’s a hint of sweetness on the palate due to the botrytis that Jösko likes in his white wines. While this is a medium-bodied wine, the finish is very long and you’ll enjoy a glass of Anfora with a puzzled yet pleased look on your face. Seriously, this is a fun wine.
Expected maturity: 2011-2020
Food pairing: This is a savory wine that pairs well with salty dishes and cheeses. Some regional specialties from Venice, like risotto with squid ink & baccalà would be an interesting pairing. For a great conversation starter with friends, bring out Gravner Anfora with an antipasto plate of salumi & Parmigiano Reggiano.
Visiting Gravner: Jösko’s cantina is quite the place. He does take visitors with a reservation, and you can buy directly from the cantina & take some bottles with you. Reservations are a must. Contact Jösko by email, or call at +39.0481.308.82.
Cantina Address: Loc. Lenzualo Bianco, Oslavia 9, 34170 Gorizia, Italy. The cantina is located just north of Gorizia in Friuli Venezia-Giulia (north of Venice). Find it on Google maps.
Learn More: Read more about the wine on the Gravner website. Note: this is an Adobe Flash website, so it won’t show up correctly on your iPhone or iPad.