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Orange Wine

Learn about Orange Wine, how it’s made, the range of styles, popular regions and more ...

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What is orange wine?

“Orange wine” is the most common term in modern American culture used to describe a white wine that is made like a red wine. In other words, it is a white wine made from white grapes that ferment while in contact with their skins (rather than being pressed). You’ll also see the terms, “skin-contact wine,” or in Italian, ramato (copper-colored) to describe this style.

How is orange wine made?

In modern winemaking, to make fresh white wine, pale-skinned grapes need to be pressed immediately after harvest so that the juice can ferment free from the skins and seeds. In ancient winemaking they didn’t have presses or other fancy winery equipment so made use of the tools at hand—mainly just vats for fermenting. This skin-contact style dates back to the 6th millennium BC in what is modern day Georgia (the country). At that time, they fermented ripe white grapes together with their skins, seeds and stems in a clay amphora, called a qvevri, which were sealed and buried in underground vessels for 5-6 months.

Where does orange wine come from?

Today’s modern skin-contact winemakers pay homage to this non-interventionist style of white winemaking. Though some people dismiss it as a fad, this age-old style has been resurfacing on the global scene over the last twenty or so years. Multiple countries make it—Georgia (of course), Slovenia, Italy, the U.S. and Australia to name a few. Each country produces this style in a different way with time on skins ranging anywhere from a half a day to multiple weeks. This creates a range of results in the finished wine. The color of these wines can be golden yellow to vibrant popsicle orange.

Tasting notes for orange wine

The time on skins also adds tannins and phenols to the finished wine and skin-contact wines normally show off a bright acidity. Typical flavors and aromas include bruised apple, peach, orange rind, lemongrass, lemon balm, chamomile, juniper, ginger, exotic spice, honey, beeswax and hazelnut.

Perfect food pairings for orange wine

Because of their complexity in aromas and flavors, structure and good acidity, skin-contact wines pair with a wide variety of foods. Common pairings include cream sauces, curries, spicy foods, roasted poultry and any seafood including shellfish.

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  • Vie di Romans Dessimis Pinot Grigio 2018  Front Label
    Vie di Romans Dessimis Pinot Grigio 2018
    Pinot Gris/Grigio from Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
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    • RP94
    • W&S92
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  • Movia Ribolla 2018  Front Label
    Movia Ribolla 2018
    Other White Blends from Slovenia
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    • Field Recordings Skins 2020  Front Label
      Field Recordings Skins 2020
      Other White Blends from Central Coast, California
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      • Marjan Simcic Opoka Sauvignon Blanc 2015 Front Label
        Marjan Simcic Opoka Sauvignon Blanc 2015
        Sauvignon Blanc from Slovenia
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      • Brandolini Pinot Grigio 2018 Front Label
        Brandolini Pinot Grigio 2018
        Pinot Gris/Grigio from Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
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        • Marjan Simcic Ribolla Selekcija 2018  Front Label
          Marjan Simcic Ribolla Selekcija 2018
          Other White Wine from Slovenia
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          • Ryme Las Brisas Vineyard His Vermentino 2019  Front Label
            Ryme Las Brisas Vineyard His Vermentino 2019
            Vermentino from Carneros, California
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            • Sclavos Metagitnion 2018  Front Label
              Sclavos Metagitnion 2018
              Other White Wine from Greece
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              • Marjan Simcic Pinot Grigio 2019  Front Label
                Marjan Simcic Pinot Grigio 2019
                Pinot Gris/Grigio from Slovenia
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                • Domaine Tatsis Roditis 2014 Front Label
                  Domaine Tatsis Roditis 2014
                  Other White Wine from Macedonia, Greece
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                  • Anne Pichon Sauvage Orange 2020  Front Label
                    Anne Pichon Sauvage Orange 2020
                    Other White Blends from Cotes du Ventoux, Rhone, France
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                    • Vandal Gonzo Militia White Wine 2019  Front Label
                      Vandal Gonzo Militia White Wine 2019
                      Other White Blends from Marlborough, New Zealand
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                      • Movia Sauvignon Blanc 2017  Front Label
                        Movia Sauvignon Blanc 2017
                        Sauvignon Blanc from Slovenia
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                        • Fog Monster Chenin Blanc 2013 Front Label
                          Fog Monster Chenin Blanc 2013
                          Chenin Blanc from Amador, Sierra Foothills, California
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                          • Marjan Simcic Pinot Grigio 2018  Front Label
                            Marjan Simcic Pinot Grigio 2018
                            Pinot Gris/Grigio from Slovenia
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                            • Ryme Vare Vineyard Ribolla Gialla 2016  Front Label
                              Ryme Vare Vineyard Ribolla Gialla 2016
                              Ribolla Gialla from Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley, California
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                              • Field Recordings Skins 2019  Front Label
                                Field Recordings Skins 2019
                                Other White Blends from Central Coast, California
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                                3.8 21 Ratings
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                              • Attems Pinot Grigio Ramato 2017 Front Label
                                Attems Pinot Grigio Ramato 2017
                                Rosé from Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
                                • JS89
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                              • Clos Saron Carte Blanche 2016  Front Label
                                Clos Saron Carte Blanche 2016
                                Other White Blends from Sierra Foothills, California
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                                • Vie di Romans Dessimis Pinot Grigio 2019  Front Label
                                  Vie di Romans Dessimis Pinot Grigio 2019
                                  Pinot Gris/Grigio from Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
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                                  • Domaine Glinavos Paleokerisio (500ML) 2018  Front Label
                                    Domaine Glinavos Paleokerisio (500ML) 2018
                                    Other White Wine from Greece
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                                    • Movia Ribolla 2017  Front Label
                                      Movia Ribolla 2017
                                      Other White Blends from Slovenia
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                                      • Matthiasson Ribolla Gialla 2018  Front Label
                                        Matthiasson Ribolla Gialla 2018
                                        Ribolla Gialla from Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley, California
                                        • W&S93
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                                      • Matthiasson Ribolla Gialla 2017  Front Label
                                        Matthiasson Ribolla Gialla 2017
                                        Ribolla Gialla from Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley, California
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                                        • Domaine Tatsis Roditis 2015  Front Label
                                          Domaine Tatsis Roditis 2015
                                          Other White Wine from Macedonia, Greece
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