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Orange Wine & Skin Contact White Wine

Orange wine is made from white wine grape varieties that have spent some maceration time in contact with the grape skins. It is commonly found in countries with very old wine making traditions such as Armenia and Georgia. More recently the technique has become popular in certain areas of Europe in particular Friuli in Italy. The pioneer of these wines in the region was Josko Gravner and prominent exponents today include Radikon, Skerk and Vodopivec.

Orange wines are becoming increasingly popular as they offer a half way house between red and white and display an intriguing array of flavours and nuances. Orange wines also tend to have a mature savoury element to them which makes them fantastic partners for food.

An entry point into orange wine would be the Baglio Catarrato, L'Orange from Courbissac or Slatnik from Radikon, these are wines made with shorter skin contact, up to about 10 days to two weeks. More extreme versions are Biancospino from Fonterenza, Ageno from La Stoppa and the Ribolla Gialla from Radikon which spend much longer time on the skins, in some cases between 3 and 6 months on the skins.