When Italian winemaker Josko Gravner opted out of fancy technology in favor of clay-pot fermentation, many of his fellow vintners thought he was nuts. A dozen years on, he has proven to be the visionary who inspired his region, Friuli, as well as the world, to revisit the use of ancient Georgian vessels called qvevri. Following winemaking tradition, Gravner planted the giant pots in soil. Each vintage, he fills them with crushed white grapes. Eight months later, the wine emerges shockingly copper-hued, slightly tannic, juicy, and fragrant. While his wines are pricey (his palate-catching Ribolla Gialla, with its lemon-coated apricot lusciousness, costs around $100 a bottle), they instantly transport drinkers to Gravner's vineyards. —Alice Feiring
Visit Gravner winery: Localita Lenzuolo Bianco 9, Oslavia, 39/(0) 4813-0882. This appeared in the October 2012 issue.