Orange Wine: What is it and why you need to try it
You’ve probably heard of orange wine, or at least seen it on a cool restaurant menu. The orange wine trend started several years ago and has been gaining in popularity since. It’s not just the hipster natural wine drinkers enjoying it anymore. The world has caught on and is loving it! So, what exactly is orange wine?
Orange wine is actually made from white wine grapes. Unlike the typical white wine process, where the grape skins are removed, skins are left in contact with the juice for weeks or months. This skin contact is what creates the orange colour of the wine as well as body, tannins and unique flavours. You might also hear orange wine referred to as amber, ramato or skin-contact wine. Now you know what orange wine is, why do you need to try it?
Let’s start with the great history and tradition of orange wine. A lot of people are interested in going back to more traditional ways of making things right now – looking at you sourdough starter enthusiasts! And it doesn’t get much more traditional than orange wine, which dates back thousands of years to the country of Georgia. With a lot of other countries now making orange wine, you can enjoy and appreciate this centuries old wine style.
Like traditional orange wine making practices, the modern day process is typically a natural one. Low-intervention wine making techniques are commonly used to make orange wine. Meaning, the wine is unfiltered, made with wild yeast and contains minimal additives or chemicals. Also, the grapes will often come from sustainable and environmentally friendly vineyards. So although it may not look like it (orange wines can be cloudy), you’re getting a really clean wine.
You’re also getting a wine with unique and interesting flavours. While orange wine is made from white grapes, it takes on more red wine characteristics. Like fuller body, bolder flavour and presence of tannins. At at the same time, it maintains the acidity of a white wine. The taste of orange wine is often described as “funky” with intense flavours that people compare to sour beer. But don’t worry if you’re not a sour beer fan, orange wine is so much more! You really need to try orange wine for yourself.
Where you’re going to find orange wine is from a small local winery. It’s not the big brand producers making orange wine, but the independent wineries experimenting in this niche area. These winemakers put a lot of heart and passion into creating their unique orange wines, which is much better than drinking mass produced bottles. And now, more than ever, is a great time to support local business. Support small wineries and drink great wine…win, win!
Traynor Family Vineyard is one such small winery producing orange wine. If you’ve been convinced you need to try orange wine, the Traynor Inclusion Orange is a great place to start. The Inclusion Orange started off cold soaked on Frontenac Gris skins for a week and pressed. Then, getting a little wild, Ripasso Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc skins were added to the juice to macerate for another two weeks. This resulted in an exciting and fresh wine with lively fruit flavours. Go grab yourself a bottle of the Inclusion Orange through the Traynor online wine shop.
Now you know what orange wine is and why you need to try it, so start exploring!
By Courtney Evans