Region: Oslavia, Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Appellation(s): IGT Venezia Giulia
Producer: Dario Princic
Annual Production: 2,000 cases
Farming: Natural with no official certifications
Total Vineyard Area: 7 ha
Being a huge fan of music as I am, after a while I start to see how a certain producers’ vinous timbre lends itself to a particular genre of music, or even a specific song, actually. Defying the pigeonhole of a specific style or type of wine, all that you can do is let the energy flow and let the wine wash over you in a way that the only it-or music- can. When I think in the musical context of inspiration behind Dario Princic and his philosophy-driven wine growing, for sure we’re onto something exploratory and spacey.
Yeah…spacey: there it is: 12/2/73 Boston Mucis Hall- a spacey, tight Weather Report Prelude > Weather Report Suite > Let it Grow.
Musical alternative- a 1972 Dark Star with a 30 minute jam into The Other One…
To fully come to terms with today’s popularity of the genre of the Oslavia style of wine (meaning, extended skin contact for white wines), getting up to speed on Oslavia and its war-battered history is a critical requirement. Before WW1, the land of Collio was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, who had a taste for white wines. When Collio became part of Italy, the people were suddenly joined to a predominantly red wine drinking culture. As a result, part of their winemaking style and philosophy was to treat their white grapes as if it were a red grape. The grape in question: Ribolla Gialla.
In the 1960s, with the internationalization of the wine industry, many of the vines were ripped out and replaced with international grapes. As as result, Ribolla Gialla almost became extinct. A group of producers were committed to indigenous grapes and at the beginning of the 1990s began the School of Oslavia. They rediscovered Ribolla Gialla – as well as traditional winemaking techniques – and brought back these extended skin contact wines also referred to currently as Orange Wines, much to the chagrin of the old guard Friulians. Dario Princic established his winery in 1993 after many years his family raised grapes to be sold to the local cooperative.
- Respect for the territory and the creation of a new awareness and esteem for its native grape varities.
- Healthy grapes means no pesticides, herbicides or chemicals in the vineyard.
- Only use indigenous yeast.
- Minimal use sulfites; No Filtering
- Extended Skin contact during fermentation at ambient cellar temperature in open topped vats for color, tannins, and minerals.
Dario describes his mission this way: “It was a rediscovering, because this is not a new way of making wine, rather an old one, utilizing the viticultural and oenological techniques of a century ago.” Everything is natural in the vineyard and the cellar. They don’t talk about “biodynamic” and “organic” – they just do what their grandfathers did.
These wines need time; when you go to serve them open the bottle six to eight hours in advance. You can taste them over as long a period as seven days – they will keep changing, but the natural oxidation of the wine will keep them alive and interesting. In addition, these wines age very well. I recommend buying more than one bottle and tasting them over several years.
“Have you been touched
by the spirit of the land?
From a far away call into the palm of your hand
It's inside every woman
And it's inside every man
It's time to look and listen
to know and understand”
- “Spirit of the Land”, Hothouse Flowers