Oenologie - Qu'est ce que le vin orange - Les Grappes

What is orange wine?

Orange wine has reappeared in cellars, on the market and in restaurants from the 2000s and is beginning to be appreciated by wine lovers. It arouses the curiosity of consumers and producers by its original colour. Today we make you discover this appellation of "orange wine" which can surprise some. Zoom on this wine with original characteristics!

A not so new wine!

Indeed, the winemaking technique used for these wines dates back to 4000 BC. This technique originated in Georgia and is still practiced there today. It has therefore survived over time and spread first to the borders of Italy, then throughout the world, since countries such as the United States or Australia now use this technique, which is more than 6000 years old!

A wine halfway between red and white.

This process requires a particular use of grapes: indeed for orange wines, whole grapes are used in the fermentation process, whereas for white wines the grapes are pressed and only the juice is put into fermentation. In the case of orange wines, the juice from white grape varieties macerates with the skin, and the pips, for a period ranging from one day to several months. It is the polyphenols and anthocyane contained in the grape skin that give the orange colour and are at the origin of the wine's aromas. It is also for this reason that we can say that orange wine, like red wine, is a tannic wine. In other words, orange wine would be a white wine vinified in the manner of a red wine.

The orange wine: the product of vinification by maceration

For the vinification of orange wines, the method of maceration borrows from the ancient practice of Georgia. The maceration of the grapes, skins and juice is done in vats or barrels, but above all in amphoras that can be buried and sealed. These terracotta pots are called "Kyevris". Depending on the length of contact with the skin, depending on the maceration, the taste of the wine may vary, but it is undeniable that this hybrid wine possesses both the mineral aromas and acidity of white wines and the texture and tannins of red wines.

Although it is in vogue and attracts producers and consumers, orange wine is still in the minority. It is therefore a bold and daring experiment that you should get into as soon as possible: wine drinkers or amateurs, it's up to you to try your hand at orange wine!

Marie Lecrosnier-Wittkowsky

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