FINE WINE OR JUST A GIMMICK?
What is “Orange Wine”?
The term “Orange Wine” is a bit misleading as Orange Wine is not a wine made from oranges nor is it a kind of cocktail. It is something completely different. In short and generally speaking, orange wine is a white wine made like a red wine. First of all we’ll have a closer look at the process of Orange Wine making. Let’s go back to the roots!
The technique dates back as far as 6000 years and has its origin in Georgia, in the Caucasus region. In earlier times wines were fermented in so called “Qvevri” which are large subterranean vessels covered with stones and sealed with beewax to prevent oxidation.
Once the exclusive domain of Georgian, Slovenian and Italian winemakers, other wine regions like the U.S., Germany or France have a growing interest in this style.
How is Orange Wine made?
To make an orange wine, you need white or grey grapes (no matter the kind e.g. Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Trebbiano, and so on), a vessel and time. The process is the same as making a red wine. The difference compared to white wine is the winemaking process during which the white grapes are mixed into a pulp with both their skin and seeds. The wine is put in a large vessel and left in contact with the skin and seeds for days, weeks or even months. Typically Orange Wine is very natural with little or no additives.
And the result? – Controversially discussed. The wine does not only have a different color but is also more intense in flavor often with a unique tanin structure.
While the converts praise orange wines as a characterful wine with an intense aroma and complex flavors. The opponents rail against orange wines. The German wine blog “Captain Cork” finds clear words and calls it an experiment and error.
“The Decanter” held its first blind tasting of Orange Wines in December 2014 and we do not want to deprive you of the results of this tasting.
What do you think?
Have you already tasted an Orange Wine? We are curious about your opinion and experiences with Orange Wine. Submit your comments below or on our Facebook account!