Frioul, in the North-East of Italy (Frioul-Venezia Giulia region), is the bearer of an ancient but for a time forgotten tradition of maceration whites. In the 1990s, a handful of winegrowers – such as Evangelos Paraschos – from Collio, around Gorizia, on the border with Slovenia, rediscovered this method of winemaking by giving it a more “radical” and more experimental character and by vinifications using traditional local grape varieties.
Of Greek origin, settled in Friuli in San Floriano del Collio, a village located north of Gorizia near the Slovenian border, Evangelos Paraschos gradually invested in viticulture and developed his vineyard in the 1980s. Following in the footsteps of pioneers Josko Gravner and Stanko Radikon, he began bottling his own production in 1999 and opted, from 2003, for the maceration of whites with the skins. The vineyard – 7 ha on typical “ponka” soils (clayey marl) – now in the hands of Alexis and Jannis Paraschos, is worked without chemical products. It is made from the traditional white grape varieties of Collio: Ribolla Gialla, Friulano (ex-tocai friulano), Malvasia, as well as a few other grape varieties such as Chardonnay and Sauvignon. The macerations, from a few days to a few weeks depending on the grape variety and the case, are carried out in wooden vats or amphoras (“Amphoreus” cuvées) and followed by aging in tuns or barrels. In the purest style induced by maceration, the wines are tonic, with both finesse and structure, a complex aroma and subtle tannins.