Radikon is a 12 hectare estate in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Oslavia, on the Slovenian border of Italy, started by Stanko Radikon in 1995. Known as the “Godfather of Orange Wine”, Stanko makes unique wines, from the bottle to the production method to the taste. Together with his neighbour Josko Gravner, they bring orange wine to the international scene. Radikon’s wines are alternatively perceived as weird or wonderful. It took years for the wines to find a stable audience, and their premier market developed in Japan.
The winery grows grapes such as Ribolla Gialla, Friulano, Pignoli, Merlot and Pinot Grigio. Surprisingly, Merlot, which is often considered an “international” or “French” grape, is indeed native of Friuli-Venezia Giulia since 1869. It is introduced to the area by Count Teodoro de La Tour in 1869, and soon becomes the most popular “traditional” grape.
Winemaking: Radikon predates winemaking in the area before World War One (before 1914). The wines are fermented in large old barrels, with extended skin maceration, and no temperature control. They are then under extended maturation for one year before release. The wines have no additives such as commercial yeast or enzymes, and very tiny or no sulfites.
Radikon nowadays: Stanko passed away in 2016, his son Sasa took up the winery’s since then. The Orange Spirit goes on! Sasa has introduced the range of “entry” level orange wines with shorter period of skin maceration, making orange wines more approachable to the public.