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How To Make Orange Wine

How To Make Orange Wine

Sip, swirl, and dive into the world of Orange Wine – a delightful and distinctive beverage that has gained significant popularity in recent years. While many assume that it's just another colorful addition to the wine spectrum, there's so much more to unpack. Join us on this tantalizing journey as we peel back the layers to explore the history, production process, and taste profiles of this extraordinary drink!

What is Orange Wine?

Orange wine, also known as "skin-contact wine," is made from white grape varieties using a unique production process where grape skins are left in contact with the juice for an extended period. This extended maceration allows the wine to develop a beautiful deep orange hue and rich, complex flavors. Though this style may seem new and hip, it's actually an ancient winemaking technique that dates back thousands of years.

The Origins of Orange Wine

Originating in Georgia as far back as 6,000 BC, orange wine was traditionally created by placing crushed white grapes and their skins in large terracotta vessels called qvevri. These qvevri were then buried in the ground to allow for a slow and natural fermentation. While this method significantly influenced the wine's amber color, it's not solely responsible for the distinct palate often associated with orange wine today. The resurgence of orange wine has been largely attributed to Italian and Slovenian winemakers in the late 20th century, who sought to revive this ancient winemaking technique.

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    How To Make Orange Wine

    1. Choose the Right Grapes

    Though any white grape variety can be used for making orange wine, the most popular choices include Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Trebbiano, and Ribolla Gialla. The specific grape chosen will influence the wine's final color, structure, and flavor profile.

    2. Harvest and Crush the Grapes

    Grapes should be harvested at their optimal ripeness and then crushed, allowing the juice, skins, and seeds to mix. This mixture, known as must, is the base of orange wine production.

    3. Extended Maceration

    The must is left to ferment, with the grape skins remaining in contact with the juice. This process, called maceration, typically lasts for weeks or even months, during which the wine gains its characteristic color, tannins, and textured palate.

    4. Pressing and Aging

    After maceration, the must is pressed to remove the juice from the skins and seeds. The wine is then aged in various vessels such as stainless steel tanks, oak barrels, or traditional qvevri. This aging process can range from a few months to a few years, depending on the desired outcome.

    5. Bottling and Resting

    Once the winemaker is satisfied with the aging process, the wine is bottled and allowed to rest for a few months, improving its overall quality and readiness for consumption.

    How To Make Orange Wine Example:

    Imagine you're a small-scale winemaker who wants to experiment with creating a luscious orange wine from a batch of freshly harvested Sauvignon Blanc grapes. After gently crushing your grapes, you'll place the must in a food-grade plastic fermenter. Over the next three weeks, allow the must to macerate, occasionally stirring the mixture to ensure an even extraction of flavors, aromas, and tannins.

    When the extended maceration is complete, press the must through a fine mesh strainer (or wine press) into another sanitized container. The juice is then transferred to oak barrels for aging, where it will develop its character over the following months or years, depending on your desired flavor profile.

    Once aged to perfection, bottle the wine and let it rest for a few months before sharing and enjoying your creation with friends and fellow wine enthusiasts.

    Congratulations! You've just journeyed through the fascinating world of orange wine, deciphering its origins, understanding its unique production process, and unlocking the door to a complex, intriguing taste experience. If you're eager to explore more tantalizing wine topics, don't hesitate to dive into our other Black Wine Club articles. And, if this fruity exploration has ignited a newfound passion for orange wine, be sure to share your contagious enthusiasm with friends, family, and fellow creatives. Cheers, and happy sipping!

    Do You Want to Win a Free Bottle of Wine?

    Don't miss out on the opportunity to win a free bottle of wine every week.

    Enter our weekly prize draw today!


      About Basil Tant

      Basil Tant, a highly revered wine connoisseur and sommelier, brings over 15 years of expertise to Black Wine Club. He holds a deep understanding of the art and science of wine, built on a lifelong passion for viniculture. Known for his astute palate and deep knowledge of international varietals, Basil has curated renowned wine collections globally. His intricate tasting notes and insightful commentaries have earned him a well-deserved reputation in the wine world. With his engaging style, Basil brings to life the world of wine, providing readers with invaluable knowledge on tasting, pairing, and collecting. Let Basil be your guide on this journey through the captivating universe of wine.

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