One of the more popular questions I get asked in masterclasses is “how many days of maceration is necessary before a white wine becomes an orange wine?”
Mlečnik Ana is a great way to answer this question.
Create a 2,000 hectare farm on marshlands that used to be part of Austria’s biggest lake, let your Pinot Grigio vineyard run wild without any pruning, harvest, then ferment in concrete eggs with the skins for three weeks.
What’s the biggest problem with organising a natural wine tasting? Defining the parameters ranks very high. Also, if one publicises the results with any level of exposure, being prepared to fight off the negative, trolling comments is sadly a serious undertaking.
It started with a seemingly innocent question from Oscar Quevedo: “Simon, do you know how to make an orange wine?”. Oscar isn’t stupid of course, he knew damn well I’d have something to say on the subject. We were sat in the tasting room at Quevedo, a port and still wine producer in the Cima Corgo
“It’s oxidised” – how many times have I heard this statement, when talking about orange wines? Even amongst wine professionals, the misconception often prevails. Most of us are very visual creatures – confronted with what we’re told is ostensibly a white wine, and a darker russet brown, golden yellow or downright orange colour, it can be hard to shake off the thought that the wine is in less than prime condition.
I’ve just returned from a hugely enjoyable weekend spent at Rawfair, London’s biggest celebration of natural wines. In the space of three years, this event has become a must in my calendar. Every year, I’ve made exciting discoveries and every year I leave feeling hugely optimistic about the wine industry. Raw is never boring, there’s