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

What is orange wine?

Updated on December 13, 2022

The orange wine has reappeared in the cellars, on the market and in the restaurants since the year 2000 and is beginning to be appreciated by wine lovers. It arouses the curiosity of consumers and producers by its original color. Today, we would like to introduce you to this "orange wine" appellation which may surprise some. Zoom on this wine with original characteristics!

A not so new wine!

Indeed,the wine making techniqueThe process used for these wines dates back to 4000 years BC. This technique originates from Georgia and is still practiced there today. It has therefore survived over time and spread first to the borders of Italy, then to the world since countries such as the United States and Australia now use this technique which is over 6000 years old!

A wine halfway between red and white

This process requires a particular use of the grapes: in fact, for orange wines, the whole grapes are used in the fermentation process, while forwhite winesthe grapes are pressed and it is only the juice that is put into fermentation. In the case of orange wines, the juice from white grapes macerates with the skin and seeds for a period of time ranging from one day to several months. It is the polyphenols and anthocyanins contained in the grape skin that give the wine its orange color, and are the source of its aromas. It is also for this reason that we can say that the orange wine, like thered wineis a tannic wine. In other words, orange wine is a white wine vinified in the manner of a red wine.

Orange wine: the product of maceration vinification

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 mostly in amphorae that can be buried and sealed. These clay pots are called "Kyevris". Depending on the length of contact with the skin, the taste of the wine may vary, but it is undeniable that this hybrid wine has both the mineral aromas and acidity of white wines, and the texture and tannins of red wines.

Although it has become popular, and is attracting producers and consumers alike, orange wine is still in the minority. It is therefore an experiment and a daring one in which you should embark as soon as possible: wine drinkers or amateurs, it is up to you to try orange wine!

Marie Lecrosnier-Wittkowsky for Les Grappes

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