We love this fascinating and venerable style of winemaking. Essentially white wines made as if they were reds – the grape skins are left in contact with the juice as it ferments, and sometimes as it matures as well, orange wine can be utterly thrilling and unique when well executed.
Here’s a selection of articles and tasting notes on some favourite orange wines. Check out Simon’s major Decanter feature for a general primer and some of the backstory.
Haywire is Okanagan’s free form gem Haywire produce some of Canada’s very best orange wines, not bad for what started as a retirement project.
Really wild wines from Giorgi Natenadze Some wines really are unique. Giorgi Natenadze’s are made from wild vines growing in mountain forests, some up to 400 years old. They taste quite otherwordly.
Sterling stuff from Sperling & Southbrook vineyards Simon discovers two very fine orange wines made by Canadian winegrower Ann Sperling, who also happens to have spearheaded one of the world’s first official quality classifications for orange wine.
Craven prove that Clairette needs skin Mick & Jeanine Craven are leading the charge for experimentation in Stellenbosch, and their efforts are paying off with some superb skin fermented Clairette and Pinot Gris.
The Hermit Ram – wild beast of Canterbury Theo Coles makes naked, stripped down wines in Canterbury, New Zealand which use skin fermentation to achieve magical ends.
Impossible orange wine from Vinarija Škegro Bosnia’s Vinarija Škegro have an orange surprise up their sleeves, and it’s a lot more delicious than Simon ever suspected.
Cool climate curtimenta from Humus Rodrigo Filipe (Humus) has come up with a strange way to make his curtimenta (skin fermented white wine), but it’s an unqualified success.
Channing Daughters’ Long Island Ribolla Gialla Ribolla Gialla isn’t a grape variety you find much in the US, but this skin fermented example from Channing Daughters in Long Island is a convincing effort.
Matej Skerlj shows the elegance of Vitovska The wonderful skin macerated Vitovska from Skerlj isn’t just a great wine, it’s also a demonstration of how different this region is from its Friuli-Venezia-Giulia neighbours.
Another religious experience – Coenobium Ruscum Religious orders are always good for tasty, traditionally made beverages. Simon reviews the latest vintage of Coenobium from the Cistercian nuns at Vitorchiano.