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Orange Highlights, Tints, and Wine

Over the last decade, orange wine has gained significant attention, and in some cases culty followings. By now, most wine drinkers know these wines have nothing to do with oranges, nor are they made from orange grapes, and they don’t include any orange-drink additives (no Tang here).
 
Many orange wines are made using natural or low intervention-winemaking processes—organic, biodynamic, no filtration, little to no additives, etc. The tannins extracted from the skins can contribute to some “funky” flavors like orange rind, bruised apple, tea, honey, nuts, juniper, and even, sour or fruity beer. In fact, because of the sour beer and saison like qualities, orange wine is widely considered to be a gateway drug for beer drinkers to convert to wine. Look out foamheads.
 
Despite its continued rise in popularity—umm we already declared a National Orange Wine Day (October 6)—it’s sometimes challenging to know which producer, bottle, or style will suit your palate. Into funk and bits of dead yeast cells floating around? Cool, we got you. Want more of a filtered, rounded style with softer tannins? We’ve got you too.

This week, we went full Orange face and put together a no-fail list for you to find that perfect vibe. Now, put the Rosé aside for a minute and see some Fall colors. Here are 7 Orange Wines That'll Make Your Ginger Friends Proud.

WHAT WE'RE DRINKING
      01 
2020 Bauer Barig Alte Reben
Gruner Veltliner-Roter Veltliner from Wagram, Austria 🇦🇹
$19.00

Barig is the ideal entry-level orange wine. After macerating on the skins for eight weeks, it is fermented with natural yeasts and left unfiltered. While it is cloudy and has a certain honey-ed character, it is also fresh and fruity without any distinct “funk.” In a blind tasting, you may guess this is a white. Citrus and flowers are dominant on the nose and palate, namely lemon, tangerine, orange blossom, honeysuckle and rose petals, with just a hint of herbaceousness. Unlike many orange wines, this light wine does not necessitate food, but would be a fabulous replacement to your usual glass of Sauvignon Blanc on a warm afternoon.

 www.amsterdamwine.com
      02 
2020 Bodegas Ponce Gulp Hablo
Verdejo-Sauvignon Blanc from Castilla La Mancha, Spain 🇪🇸
$19.99

The name says it all—you will definitely want to “gulp” down this orange wine. Made via organic and biodynamic processes, it spends 5-7 days on the skins and is left unfiltered. This produces a hazy, light orange appearance and lightly textured, juicy body. As you’re gulping, take note of the fresh grapefruit, honeysuckle, lime zest, dried orange peel, and white tea. There are subtle yeasty notes too, which makes the finish resemble that of a sour beer. At only 11% ABV, this is ideal brunch or football wine. Best of all, it comes in a 1-liter bottle. Glug glug.

          www.wine.com
      03 
2020 Christina Orange Chardonnay
Chardonnay from Caruntum, Austria 🇦🇹
$31.99

Winemaker Christina Netzl's skin-contact Chardonnay undergoes spontaneous fermentation and is unfiltered. Its brilliant, bright orange color is absolutely striking and could easily be mistaken for bottled mimosa. The wine’s fleshy body and soft tannins are balanced with the perfect amount of crisp acidity. Ripe flavors of tropical fruits, citrus, wildflowers and honey beg you to pair this wine with pad thai. 

 www.sf-flatiron-wines.com
      04 
2018 Vinoterra Mtsvane
Mtsvane from, Kakheti, Georgia 🇬🇪
$17.99

For the past two decades, Vinoterra has been working to renew interest in traditional Georgian winemaking traditions and indigenous grapes. This gorgeous wine based on the crisp, citrusy Mtsvane grape has done just that. Juice and skins ferment in a kvevri buried underground, then continue to macerate on the skins for six months in oak. The result is a wine with firm tannin structure, soft body, and key notes of dried apricot, orange blossom, tangerine peel, beeswax, toasted hazelnuts, bread dough, and a hint of salinity on the finish. Elevated and complex, yet still a total drinker for the masses.  

  www.potomacwines.com
      05 
2020 J.Brix Sunrise Over Skin
Riesling from Santa Barbara, CA 🇺🇸
$26.95

J.Brix’s dry skin-contact Riesling gives the classic Eastern European orange wines a run for their money. While some orange wines suffer from feeling too heavy, Riesling’s famed acidity gives this wine amazing brightness and lift. Extended skin-contact takes this already aromatic grape to the next level, showing perfumed notes of peach, melon, pineapple, passion fruit, lemon zest, and white flowers, with hints of fresh butter, petrol and mineral on the pleasant finish. Between the racy acidity and intense flavors, each sip is a dance party. in your mouth.

     www.hitimewine.net
      06 
2018 Vie de Romans "Dessimis" Pinot Grigio
Pinot Grigio from Friuli, Italy 🇮🇹
$25.95

If you’re looking to introduce your mom to a skin-contact white, this clean and classic Vie de Romans “ramato” is the one. Meaning “copper” in Italian, “ramato” is a specific style of skin-contact Pinot Grigio that began in Friuli. After macerating and fermenting on its skins, this pale amber wine ages on its lees for 10 months, and in the bottle for an additional eight months. The final product is clarified, so you wont freak mom out with a cloudy appearance or funky flavors. With bright acidity, a medium-body and fine tannins, you get pronounced notes of dried apricot, baked peach, white blossom, orange peel, ginger and honey. Reminds you of peach pie.

    www.empirewine.com
      07 
2017 Movia Rebula Ribolla Gialla
Ribolla Gialla from Brda, Slovenia 🇸🇮
$36.00

Located right across the Italian border in Slovenia, Movia has been making wine since 1820. As this region is one of the traditional hubs of skin-contact winemaking, you could say they know what they’re doing. This 100% Ribolla wine is fermented with natural yeasts in small French oak barrels and is left to rest on its lees for 18 months and bottle age for four months. As soon as you open this bottle, you know you’re in for a serious wine. The lengthy skin-contact is apparent from its deep amber color, lush body, grippy tannins and expressive aromatics. Bruised apple, dried pineapple, apricot, and gooseberry start the fruit surge followed by toast, fresh cream, walnut, toffee, and a salted melon finish. Traditional yet modern, elegant yet edgy, high-quality yet fun. Leave this on your shelf another three or so years and it will only improve.

www.championwinecellars.com
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IF YOU DON'T KNOW, NOW YOU KNOW


The orange winemaking tradition dates back 8,000 years to what is now the Republic of Georgia. Also known as “skin-contact” or “skin-fermented” white wine, orange wine is essentially a white wine made like a red, where the grapes are crushed and soaked with their skins for an extended time before the juice is pressed off. This process extracts color, tannin, and flavor from the skins.
 
Orange You Glad You Stopped By?

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