What is Orange Wine??

If you haven't tried 'orange wine,' it's for sure something worth checking out... Although they've been around for centuries, orange wines have been popularized by the natural wine movement and many natural winemakers are producing their own blends and variations.

Essentially, orange wine is the result of treating white grapes as red grapes, leaving them to 'macerate' on the skins rather than pressing them off right away. The resulting wine has more color and texture than a white wine, often more complex and richer flavors and can be extra fun to pair with food. No oranges involved at all!

The length of time that the grapes are left on the skins will vary by winemaker and, of course, the style of wine they want to make.  Sometimes just a couple of days will give the wine just a little touch of color and the deeper flavor the winemaker is looking for and sometimes the juice will sit on the skins for an extended period, giving the wine a darker orange color and deeper tannins.  In Georgia (EU), this technique has been used for thousands of years and it very likely originated there. Grapes would be left in large clay pots or 'qvevri' and buried underground to keep the wine at a stable and cooler temperature.

Orange wine (also know as 'Amber Wine' or 'Skin Contact Wine') has a much richer flavor profile than white wine.  The tannins from the skins will give the wine more black or green tea like qualities.  The longer maceration will bring out notes of stone fruits such as apricot and peach, as well as honey, nuts, citrus rind and herbs and florals.

These wines are really fun to pair with food as they are bolder and more complex. Some ideas would include Ethiopian food, Middle Eastern food, barbecue, roasted meats and, of course, pizza!  

You can see our current selection of orange wines here - feel free to drop me a message if you have any questions!  



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