The orange wines, the “wines with orange color”. One of the latest fashions of the moment in terms of wine.
What are orange wines?
Orange wines, are wines produced from white berried grapes but vinified as if they were red wines. Then the must is left in contact with the skins for a prolonged time, much longer than it would normally be done for a white wine. Such long times allow the extraction of color and aromas that make the wine a very deep yellow color, almost orange.
This extraction gives the white wine much more “aging” matter. The chemical substances present in the grape skins give structure and allow the wine to age better and for longer without loss of aromas and flavors.
So is it enough to leave the skin of the white inside the must to make orange wines?
No. As with everything on the face of the Earth, everything must be done wisely. One has to study, experiment, fail, start over and perfect. Each grape, each climate has its own times and methods.
The perfect health of the grapes is fundamental for a vinification of this type. There must not be even a “dirty” grape, not even the slightest hint of rot or imperfection. The grapes must be absolutely perfect. Oxidative phenomena (= everything rots) are always lurking. White grapes are less rich in tannin, a natural preservative, and therefore the risk of making crap is very high if you don’t know what you are doing.
Why should i buy an orange wine?
Because they are very complex wines, with enveloping and elegant aromas. Because an orange wine made well is not a wine. It is an experience.
This type of wine comes from aromatic grapes and capable of giving a sufficient structure to allow the aging of the wine. You can’t use a light white, it takes body, it takes substance and a lot of skill from the producer.
They may like it or not and many struggle to understand them, but orange wines are a category of wines with enormous potential. They are wines of great elegance, structure, complex and persistent aromas. Enveloping flavors. Orange wines are journeys in taste and perfume. Journeys inside the grapes from which they are made. Stuff for retailers, stuff for those who don’t set limits and have an open mind enough to understand them.