Token, Friuli

Token are bright, pure and authentic Ribolla Gialla and Franconia wines from Dmytro Goncharuk and Alyona Mykhailova, a Ukrainian couple with years of experience in London restaurants.

In their own words:

“We, as hospitality workers, spent the entire lockdown at home without work. In order not to go crazy, in the spring of 2020, we bought a boat, “Alethea”, and spent most of our time on it, dreaming of the future. And our plans were ambitious: to open a bar in London, start a winery with a hotel somewhere warm in proximity to the sea; we also thought about offering pub tours around London. But we kept coming back to wine…”

In February 2021 they found Giacomo Orlando from Orlando e Didonè Vinicoltori, whose organic farmed (in process of certification) vines are situated in Craoretto, Prepotto at the heart of the Friuli Colli Orientali DOC. Giacomo has proven to be the ideal partner, agreeing to help make Token wines in a low intervention manner, whilst providing the expertise of a lifetime’s experience growing grapes and making wine in the region.

Here the soils are alternating marls and sandstone layers, forming a Marly-arenaceous flysh called ‘Ponca’ in the local area. With an altitude around 600m the grapes are harvested by hand into small crates before native yeast fermentation in open top vats with about 20% of the Ribolla remaining on skins in an older barrel for the primary fermentation. The wines settle over 7 months in steel tank with the Ribolla staying on the lees before bottling.

What marks these wines out is their crystal-clear expression, the Ribolla showing just the right amount of prickly, apple skin grip and texture to accompany it’s zesty flavours. The Franconia (Blaufränkisch) is full of bright red and black fruit, hints of pepper, medium to light body and very gentle tannic profile.