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Discover the Best Orange Wines from Around the World

Orange wine is the hottest newcomer on the wine scene; it has exploded in popularity over the last few years; and for good reason. Let’s talk about some of the best orange wines on today’s market. 

What is Orange Wine?

To start - Orange wine is not made from Oranges. In addition, you’ll find that it goes by many different names - such as Skin Contact White Wine, Amber Wine, or Orange Wine. 

Despite the name, this delicious wine is not made from oranges. It is a type of white wine, just like Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Viognier, Gewurztraminer, Malvasia, Muscat, and Sauvignon Blanc. More specifically, it is a “skin-contact wine,” meaning that the grape skin maintains contact with the juice during fermentation rather than being filtered out.

This skin-contact white wine is made using maceration, typically used to make red wines and rosés. The Italians refer to this low-intervention process as Ramato. When white grape varieties are used rather than red grapes, the result is a delicious and biodynamic orange wine.

Orange wine hails from winemakers in the following countries:

  • Italy (Friuli)
  • France (Rhône valley)
  • The Country of Georgia
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Slovenia
  • Germany
  • Chile

Georgia is known as the birthplace of orange wine - or “amber wines”, as Georgians call them. Georgian Rkatsiteli grapes have been used to make orange wine for centuries using traditional qveri winemaking methods, which ferment the wine underground in a clay pot.

What Does Orange Wine Taste Like?

Depending on the vinification techniques and grape varieties, orange wine may be sweet or dry, though most are rich and off-dry.

Orange wine varietals typically highlight the flavors and aromas of apricots, honey, grapefruit rind, orange zest, stone fruit, mandarin, and almond. It boasts a firm tannin profile, hints of minerality, and a bright acidity.