Known widely as ‘Stanko’, Radikon, of Radikon Wines in Fruili, north-east Italy, died on 11 September from an extended illness, as reported by Wine Spectator, leaving behind his wife Susana and son, Saša.
Radikon had managed the estate for more than 30 years, having bottled his first vintage in 1979. Over that time, he built a reputation as one of Italy’s most prominent natural wine producers and promotors of the ‘orange wine’ category.
The method sees white wine grapes treated in much the same way as red, spending an extended amount of time on their skins compared to normal white wine production, whereby white wines see minimal skin contact. In doing so, orange wines take on a deeper hue, hence the name orange.
Typically, Radikon’s wines would spend three months on their skins, four years in barrel and four years in bottle before being released.
Radikon found that this method also gave wines a preservative affect, allowing him to bottle without added sulphur and leading to his estate becoming a forerunner of Italy’s natural wine movement. All of the estate’s 11 hectares are hand-picked and managed without the use of pesticides.
Saša, who has been working working alongside his father for many years, will take over the running of the estate, continuing as its its winemaker.