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Field Blends and Orange Wines: two pillars of Friulian wines

After a long, enlightening lethargy in our cellars, My Time 2016 and XL 2018 are ready to cross the doors of our winery and make their way to your glasses. No other style embodies the heritage of Friulian wines more than uvaggi (a.k.a. co-fermented blends or field blends) and macerated wines (a.k.a. orange or skin contact or ramato wines – yes, a lot of for these two..). We are proud to make both! 🙌

Field Blends

My Time is a field blend, meaning that different grapes (Chardonnay, Sauvignon, and Friulano in this case) are harvested on the same day and ferment together. This is a VERY different process than modern style blends, in which grapes are harvested and made into wines separately, only being combined later on as bottling date approaches.

Below are some of the feats that make uvaggi unique:

  1. Combining more varieties at harvest requires near perfect vintages: different grapes ripen at different times (even weeks apart!) and the years when this window shortens enough to allow co-fermentation are not so common. It’s a Time challenge (get it?! 😉).
  2. BORING! Modern blends can be made anytime, corrected, adjusted, fixed, revisited. We rather accept the exciting and unrepeatable challenge of co-fermentation: once squeezed and the juice starts fermenting, there is no going back. It’s not only that: co-fermented wines, because of their very own nature, deliver a much more complex and vintage-unique experience.
  3. It’s one of the most ancient winemaking practices: before widespread efforts to identify varieties (mastered by monks during the Middle Ages), the common procedure was precisely that of simply harvesting and fermenting all grapes together.
  4. The balance and complexity these wines achieve is unparalleled, as all varieties add their own strength (think of eating eggs with sides of arugula and mushrooms vs a well made frittata with the same ingredients). Friuli has been and still is a global point of reference for this style, with each winemaker choosing their unique “signature” varieties and ratio.

Find out more about vinification, tasting notes, and suggested pairings:

Infographic courtesy of @marisaswinedoodles – check her amazing work out!

Orange Wines

XL is a macerated wine, meaning a white grape (Pinot Grigio in this case) fermented as a red one. We have been making this wine for almost 20 years. Although luckily widely adopted nowadays, macerated wines have a long history in Friuli and remain a winemaking style representative of our region.

Infographic courtesy of @marisaswinedoodles – check her amazing work out!

Fun fact: until the ‘50s orange Pinot Grigio (locally known as Ramato) was the sole expression of this grape – there was no way to vinify it in white. Then, technological advancement (combined with foolish market trends) pushed macerated wines into oblivion.

Besides the gorgeous color, orange wines also boast:

  1. Polyphenols – these go to 11! Anthocyanins, responsible for color, tannins, making the wine feel more “dry” in the palate and gifting us with their antioxidant benefits, as well as flavonoids, showcasing the aromatic profile, are all much more expressive thanks to a better extraction from skins, seeds, and pulp.
  2. Hence, a character more similar to that of its “obscure” sibling.. Pinot Noir. Orange wines are best when served less chill than their white counterparts (we suggest 15 degrees) and triumph when paired with equally powerful dishes (Carbonara pasta was made for this!).
  3. Again, heritage. There is a reason why the word Ramato was born in Friuli: the widespread cultivation of Pinot Grigio (41% of the World’s production comes from Northeastern Italy) was an unmatched playground for winemakers to experiment and get educated on the potential of this variety when macerated.

Find out more about vinification, tasting notes, and suggested pairings:

With less than 3,000 bottles each made, My Time and XL are sold on allocation through our ambassadors and partners around the World. Starting this year, a limited quantity is available for purchase through our e-shop.