Is Orange Wine the Next Summer Drink Obsession?

Orange is the new wine.

orange-wine
Photo by Rob Lawson/Getty Images

Red, white, rosé...and orange? Skin-contact, or orange wine, is joining the classic wine trio. Real Simple talked to Amanda Bowman, a sales associate at Chambers Street Wines in New York City, about rosé’s rival.

Orange wine is made by fermenting and aging the juice of white grapes with their skins in a large clay vessel called a “qvevri.” The “skin-contact,” Bowman says, gives the wine its color. So, it is probably more appropriate to call it a “style” of winemaking, as it got its name from the color, not the tangy fruit.

By comparison, white wine is made from white grapes after removing the skin and seeds. And red wine is made using a similar process to its caramel-colored counterpart, but with red or black grapes.

The style has become increasingly popular over the past few years, and Bowman said there are a few winemakers that stand out in her mind. John Wurdeman is the founder of Pheasant’s Tears vineyard in the country of Georgia—believed to be the birthplace of orange wine—and a pioneer in natural winemaking. According to the vineyard’s website, Wurdeman’s “Rkatsiteli” wine is “golden amber in the glass with a nose of honey, but dry and unexpectedly full-bodied in the mouth with notes of walnut and apricot.” One bottle is $19, but they are currently out of stock online.

Bowman says another brand to try is Italian winemaker Elisabetta Foradori’s Fontanasanta Nosiola ($48.99). Or look for American-made orange wines, like the one from California-based Folk Machine’s Jeanne d’Arc wine ($21.99).