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The Evolution of Orange Wine - Why we love Orange Wine

Orange wine goes back a long way – from humble beginnings in Georgia, Slovenia and the world’s oldest wine regions, it disappeared into obscurity for centuries. Since its rediscovery in the last couple of decades, it has morphed and adapted to fit into our modern wine culture.

When Orange wines first burst back onto the scenes at the more avant-garde establishments in London, they were designed to show the extent of what an Orange wine could be; to distance themselves from Whites – and more importantly, Rosé. Deep colour, cloudy appearance, scrumpy-like characteristics with high levels of tannin, phenolic elements, savoury flavours, spice and more. Pioneering producers like Josko Gravner and Stanko Radikon in Friuli used long skin maceration and no sulphites and the wines were structured, dry and muscular.  They took some drinking and needed the right food but there was no denying the allure and complexity of these unusual wines.

Fast forward 23 years or so and now people are really catching on and starting to love these amber elixirs but also are craving easier styles.  Winemakers, ever influenced by the fast paced development of the natural wine movement are aiming for a more refined style, with shorter periods of skin contact, less extraction and ageing in stainless steel or concrete tanks to preserve freshness of flavour and avoid oxidative characters. Many of the orange wines we’re seeing now have all the elegance of their white counterparts, but with more profound texture and depth.

Producers like Craig Hawkins in Swartland are making wines completely transformed from their deep coloured, tannic and hearty heritage.  His Skin Contact 2018 is a delicate orange hue and has elegant aromas of flowers, fruits and herbs with just a touch of the classic phenolic component of orange wine. Some of our other more delicate favourites include L’Orange from Domaine de Courbissac, and Marius et Simone from Domaine Giachino, wines that are fresh, elegant and precise. Not that we don't love the more hardcore stuff too and Radikon's long aged Ribolla and Paolo Vodopivec's Magnificent Vitovska take pride of place among our range of some 40 odd orange wines.

But we are delighted to see this evolution in the category and such a diversity of styles emerging. Natural winemakers love to experiment and respond to developing tastes which is all the better for the thirsty wine lover.

The future's bright, the future's orange!


We have created a mixed case for those wanting to try a variety of Orange wines....

This fantastic case includes: 2 bottles of Jakot Nando, a light, aromatic Slovenian wine; 2 bottles of Toscana Bianco Procanico, a robust and rare Tuscan variety; 2 bottles of Baby Bandito Stay Brave, a lovely, entry level offering from Craig Hawkins. It also includes: 2 bottles of Marius et Simione from the Mountains; 1 bottle of Radikon Jakot from the King of Orange Wines in Friuli; 1 bottle of Courbissac l'Orange; 1 bottle of Zagreo Fiano from Campania, rich and complex and a bottle of Cattarato by Aldo Viola. Enjoy!

Free Postage for Mainland UK with this case.

(See also our 6 bottle Orange Wine case and other mixed cases in our Mixed Cases Section)