Uncorking the Mystery: Exploring the Fascinating World of Orange Wine

Uncorking the Mystery: Exploring the Fascinating World of Orange Wine

By Kristin Olszewski

While there's always a new trend in the world of wine, there's a lesser-known wine that's been garnering attention among sommeliers and wine enthusiasts alike, including me—orange wine. Despite its name, orange wine isn't made from oranges; rather, it's a unique style of wine crafted from white wine grapes using ancient winemaking techniques. We were slightly familiar with orange wine, but it wasn't until we produced our own that we learned of its history, production process, and what really makes orange different than reds and whites.

Although orange wine may seem like a recent trend, its origins trace back thousands of years to the Caucasus region, nestled between Europe and Asia. Here, winemakers used traditional methods of fermentation and extended skin contact to produce wines with both an amber hue and complex flavors. Over time, orange wine became less popular, as modern winemaking practices prioritized clarity and uniformity, however with the resurgence of interest in natural wines, the revival of orange wine is in full effect.

When it comes to producing wine, what truly sets orange wine apart from its red and white wines is its unique production process. Unlike white wines, where the grape juice is quickly separated from the skins after pressing, orange wine undergoes extended maceration, allowing the grape skins to remain in contact with the juice for days, weeks, or at times even months. This prolonged contact imbues the wine with its characteristic amber hue and imparts rich flavors, tannins, and textures that are much more similar to red wines.

To us, orange wine has one of the most diverse and complex flavor profiles in the wine world. Since the wine experiences extended skin contact, orange wines are complete with a spectrum of aromas and flavors that range from floral and citrusy to nutty and rich. Notes of dried fruits, spices, and tea leaves often emerge, adding layers of depth and complexity to the wine. Each sip of orange wine offers a sensory journey that evolves in the glass; complex and fun!

Orange wine is a super food-friendly wine, and because of this, orange wine is certainly growing in popularity. Its robust structure and pronounced flavors make it an excellent companion to a wide range of dishes, from hearty meats and rich cheeses to vegetarian fare and your favorite salads. Whether paired with rustic Italian cuisine or something simpler like a steak and wedge salad, orange wine adds a unique dimension to the dining experience, elevating flavors and stimulating the palate.

As wine lovers continue to seek out new and exciting experiences in wine, orange wine emerges as a captivating option that bridges the gap between tradition and innovation. With its ancient roots, artisanal production methods, and complex flavors, orange wine offers a fun glimpse into the rich tapestry of winemaking history. Whether enjoyed as a standalone sipper or paired with your fav meal, orange wine invites exploration and appreciation, and we're so glad we can offer you one of our newest faves!