Orange Wine: What is it, how is it made and why should you buy it?

By on September 20th, 2022 in Blog
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What exactly is orange wine, is all orange wine natural wine and do you have to go to a natural wine shop to buy it? In essence, orange wine is a white wine where the skins have been left in contact with the juice during fermentation. Normally reserved for reds and rosés, this technique gives orange wine tannin, colour and certain flavours only found in the skins. 

orange wine blog

Natural wine is a little more tricky. From a technical standpoint, Natural wine doesn’t mean anything. Instead, it covers a range of techniques that try to minimise intervention by human hands in the winery, be it orange, red or any other colour. As to where to buy it, many natural wine shops only cater for the die-hard aficionado. Our brief, however, is a little more inclusive. Below are a quartet of awesome orange wine options, taking you from beginner to pro in four easy steps.

Poggio del Moro Pet Nat rosé

If ever orange wine had a ‘gateway drug’, it’s got to be Pet Nat. Petillance Naturelle is a style of wine made using an ancient method. As the yeast consumes sugar it produces alcohol and carbon dioxide, If you bottle wine that hasn’t finished fermenting, the yeast left inside continues to ferment the sugar and the resultant CO2 is dissolved in the wine, making bubbles. It’s always a little cloudy but packed with unique flavours. Poggio del Moro’s Pet Nat Rosé has flavours of redcurrants, grapefruit, red and yellow apple, rose and peach melba. A touch of dried herbs and lemon pith gives it depth and searing acidity keeps it fresh. It’s dry, layered, refreshing, approachable and seriously moreish. Whether you’re an orange wine old hand or just starting on your orange wine journey, this is a brilliant wine that bridges the natural and traditional wine divide. 

pet nat rosé orange wine blog

Joiseph Fogosch

Our next wine very much encourages a significant step forward down the orange wine road. Just like oysters or caviar, orange wine is an acquired taste. Once you’ve acquired it though, you’re going to love Joiseph Fogosch. The team at Austrian-based Joiseph have made a serious name for themselves in the orange wine scene. They started only 7 years ago with very little other than some pruning scissors, a couple of pairs of old wellies, some serious talent and a small plot of Gruner Veltliner vines. That this wine is so accomplished then, is nothing short of remarkable. Heady, powerful and complex, it has flavours of dried grapefruit peel, smashed rocks, pine trees, marzipan and chamomile tea. It’s also slightly tannic, a little creamy and retains a rarely found ripeness that plays beautifully against its high, refreshing acidity. Elegant, harmonious and satisfying, this is a rare beast indeed.

Joiseph orange wine blog

Atelier Kramar Primario

Austria may be the epicentre of first-rate orange winemaking, but Slovenia on its southern border is right in the mix too. Atelier Kramar was founded by husband and wife team Katja and Matjaz. Originally artists, winemaking was just a sideline, but gradually they realised it was their true calling, one from which we can all benefit. The vineyards are located in the Brda region, right on the border with Italy’s famous Colli Sensi region, sharing the same soil types and climate. Just like our previous wine, Atelier Kramar Primario has a wonderful ripeness only the best orange wines exhibit. It has flavours of apricot crumble, light vanilla custard, peaches, lemons and super-ripe pears. Subtle tannins, a little creaminess and good acidity help lengthen then freshen a long finish spiked with liquorice and white pepper. Ripe, tangy and complex, this is another orange wine that sets a high bar.

atelier kramar orange wine blog

Azul y Garanza Naturaleza Salvaje Blanco

Our final wine is not for the faint-hearted. Azul y Garanza was started in the late 1990s by 3 friends Maria, Dani, and Fernando. Their vineyard, which includes a collection of previously abandoned, 100-year-old vines and sits on the edge of Europe’s largest desert in Navarra, NE Spain. Their ethos centres on biodiversity and sustainability, producing wines that showcase their minimal intervention approach to a tee. Azul y Garanza Naturaleza Salvaje Blanco is 100% Garnacha Blanco which uses clay amphoras, plenty of skin contact and extended lees ageing. Flavours of Coconut cream, candied lemon, lychee, gooseberry jam, dried mandarin, yellow flower, dried oregano and a white pepper finish. There is bags of minerality, a decent lick of tannin and plenty of acid to keep things fresh and mouthwatering. Certainly, at the funkier end of the orange spectrum, this ticks a host of orange and natural wine boxes beautifully.

Azul y Garanza Naturaleza Salvaje Blanco blog