Orange Wine

Hic! Orange Wine Collection

Orange or Amber Wine (also referred to as skin-fermented white wine) is a style of wine, made from white wine grapes, where the grape skins stay in contact with the grape juice for days or even months and subsequently acquire an amber/orange colour. This is in contrast with conventional white wine production which involves crushing the grapes and quickly moving the juice off the skins into the requisite fermentation tank. The skins contain colour pigment, phenols and tannins that are normally considered undesirable for a white wine, whilst for red wines the skin contact and maceration is a vital part of the winemaking process which gives red wine its colour, flavour, and texture.

The practice of making orange wines has a long history in winemaking dating back hundreds of years in Slovenia and Friuli-Venezia Giulia, and thousands of years in the Eurasian wine producing country of Georgia. However, skin fermented white wines fell out of fashion in the mid-20th century as technically 'correct' and fresh white wines came in to favour and began to dominate export markets.

Orange winemaking is a very natural process that uses little to no additives, sometimes not even yeast and because of this they taste very different from regular white wines. Orange wines are somewhat hard to find yet in recent years there has been something of a renaissance in this natural winemaking style and there are some very good examples being made in many countries including South America, Australia, the USA and central Europe.