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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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    • W&S92
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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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  • Domaine Tatsis Roditis 2014 Front Label
    Domaine Tatsis Roditis 2014
    Other White Wine from Macedonia, Greece
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    • Marjan Simcic Ribolla Selekcija 2017  Front Label
      Marjan Simcic Ribolla Selekcija 2017
      Other White Wine from Slovenia
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      • Pyramid Valley Orange Wine 2019  Front Label
        Pyramid Valley Orange Wine 2019
        Pinot Gris/Grigio from Canterbury, New Zealand
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      • Movia Ribolla 2018  Front Label
        Movia Ribolla 2018
        Other White Blends 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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          • 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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              • Brandolini Pinot Grigio 2018 Front Label
                Brandolini Pinot Grigio 2018
                Pinot Gris/Grigio from Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
                  3.8 19 Ratings
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                • Vie di Romans Dessimis Pinot Grigio 2016 Front Label
                  Vie di Romans Dessimis Pinot Grigio 2016
                  Pinot Gris/Grigio from Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
                  • JS93
                  • RP93
                  • WS90
                  3.5 12 Ratings
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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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                    • Vie di Romans Dessimis Pinot Grigio 2017  Front Label
                      Vie di Romans Dessimis Pinot Grigio 2017
                      Pinot Gris/Grigio from Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
                      • RP94
                      • JS93
                      • W&S90
                      4.6 17 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $34.99
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                      34 99
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                    • Movia Veliko Bianco 2011  Front Label
                      Movia Veliko Bianco 2011
                      Other White Blends from Slovenia
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                      • Field Recordings Skins 2019  Front Label
                        Field Recordings Skins 2019
                        Other White Blends from Central Coast, California
                        • WW89
                        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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                      • 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
                            3.7 36 Ratings
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                          • Movia Ribolla 2017  Front Label
                            Movia Ribolla 2017
                            Other White Blends from Slovenia
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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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                              • Field Recordings Skins 2020  Front Label
                                Field Recordings Skins 2020
                                Other White Blends from Central Coast, California
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                                • Matthiasson Ribolla Gialla 2018  Front Label
                                  Matthiasson Ribolla Gialla 2018
                                  Ribolla Gialla from Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley, California
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                                • Good Intentions Wine Co Gris Diddly Dee 2019  Front Label
                                  Good Intentions Wine Co Gris Diddly Dee 2019
                                  Pinot Gris/Grigio from Victoria, Australia
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                                  • Marjan Simcic Ribolla Selekcija 2016  Front Label
                                    Marjan Simcic Ribolla Selekcija 2016
                                    Other White Wine from Slovenia
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