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What is Orange Wine?

At Mai Vino, we believe in a solid education on all things vino! Mai Vino believes that organic wine should be the standard. As an up-and-coming female-founded winery, Mai Vino wants to make high-quality wine accessible and affordable for all to enjoy. Our wines are made with organic grapes, fermented with indigenous yeast, and vegan-friendly.  

Orange wine has become more sought after in the last decade in wine shops around the globe - and has been popularized by natural winemakers Similar to the red wine making process, where the red grape skins are left in contact with the newly crushed wine, creating its signature orange tint. However, not all orange wines are “orange” - they can sometimes be a murky yellow. 

In winemaking terms, orange wine is not a type of wine, but a unique style of skin-contact wine, composed of grape varieties like chardonnay, pinot grigio, or riesling (and more recently, sauvignon blanc). This skin-contact white wine is also referred to as Ramato in Italian, which means “auburn/ amber wine.” 

Orange wine uses exclusively white grapes, are oftened farmed organically or biodynamically. After harvest, white grapes are mashed inside large steel, cement, or ceramic vessels. After maceration, the wine is left to ferment. Notice that additives are not added during the orange winemaking process.

The method of making orange wine heavily contrasts that of traditional white wine. In conventional white wines, white wine grape varieties are crushed and separated from their skins and seeds before being moved to the fermentation vessel.

Orange Wine Flavor Profile

Orange wine is bold. The terroir of the skins and seeds of white grapes add flavor, tannins, complexity, and minerality to orange wine and creates myriad flavors. This means that orange wines can have a variety of aromas as well.

Some orange wines have sweet and fruity apricot aromas and acidity like rosé wines

In contrast, others are tinted with honeyed aromas of jackfruit, hazelnut, brazil nut, bruised apple, wood varnish, linseed oil, juniper, sourdough, and dried orange rind.

Drinkers of funkier versions will say that orange wine tastes more like sour beer than a typical white wine and because they are so strong in flavor, orange wines need a robust dish for a proper food pairing. 

Thus, orange wines style of wine can range from funky to aromatic to clean. At the end of the day its based on the palette of the winemaker. 

Great pairing suggestions for orange wine include spicy Asian foods and strong cheeses. Gamier meats like lamb hold up better than more delicate proteins like chicken or fish, but this too is merely a question of your palette and the particular version you have on the table.

Top Orange Wine Producing Regions

Though orange wine is relatively new on the wine list of sommeliers; orange wine is ancient.

In the Eastern European countries of Slovenia and Georgia, orange wines have been produced for over 6000 years in clay vessels called amphora (also known as qvevri). Today, only a few winemakers like Josko Gravner continue this ancient method.

There are many orange wine-producing areas around the world. These include Croatia, Italy, New Zealand, California, Australia, Chile, and Germany.

Mai Vino Orange Wine

Here at Mai Vino, we are setting a new standard for organic winemakers. Our high-quality orange wine originates from Itata, Chile, from 80- year old vines. As an up-and-coming female-founded winery, Mai Vino is a New York based winery thatmakes high-quality wine accessible and affordable for all to enjoy. Our wines are made with organic grapes, fermented with indigenous yeast, and vegan-friendly.