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Where To Buy Skin Contact Wine

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From Funky To Refreshing Here Are Our Favorite Skin

Understanding Natural Wines | Plateau Brighton
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Orange wine is finally having the moment it deserves. However, there are a few things to know before diving in. First and foremost, orange wine, often referred to as skin-contact wine or amber wine, is produced worldwideand most importantly, its definitely not crafted from oranges. These golden-hued wines are basically white wines vinified using red wine techniques. In short, rather than directly pressing the juice from the grapes, juice from white grapes destined for orange wine production spends some time macerating on the skins.

Orange wine is available in sparkling and still formats, ranging from light to full-bodied, and flavors also cover a huge spectrum, from tropical to umami, says Doreen Winkler, founder of Orange Glou. When looking for quality orange wine for her curated monthly subscription , Winkler explains that what matters most is how its made. All of the wines we select are considered natural, produced from hand-harvested fruit, have nothing added / very low to zero sulfur, and there is no masking oak use, she explains. Winkler notes that orange wines can be enjoyed at any time of the day or year, as there are endless shades, textures, and flavors available.

Collection: Orange And Skin Contact Wines

  • Calcarius, NU Litr Orange 2019
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  • Ciello, ‘Baglio Antico’ Catarratto Bianco 2020
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  • Finca Casa Balaguer, ‘Tragolargo’ Blanco 2020
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  • Fattoria di Vaira, ‘Vincenzo’ Bianco 2020
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  • Mother Rock, Liquid Skin 2020
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  • Partida Creus, BN Blanco Natural 2020
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  • Tetramythos, Agripiotis Orange Natur 2019
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  • Finca Casa Balaguer, ‘Salicornio’ Moscatel 2020
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  • Vignoble de Reveur, ‘Pierres Sauvages’ 2019
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  • Calcarius, NU Litr Bianco 2019
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  • Finca Casa Balaguer, ‘El Carro de la Mata’ 2020
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  • Antonio Camillo, ‘Tutti i Giorni’ Bianco Litro 2020
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  • Az. Ag. Cos, ‘Rami’ Bianco 2020
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  • Costador, ‘Metamorphika’ Macabeu Orange 2020
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  • Force Celeste, Chenin Blanc 2020
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  • Testalonga, Baby Bandito ‘Stay Brave’ 2020
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  • Finca Casa Balaguer, ‘Salicornio’ Malvasia 2020
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  • Eschenhof Holzer, ‘Space Invader’ Orange 2019
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  • Costador, ‘Metamorphika’ Chenin Blanc 2019
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  • Costador, ‘Metamorphika’ Muscat Orange 2020
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Nv Croci Campedello Bianco Frizzante

Emilia-Romagna’s Massimiliano Croci is one of the more shy and retiring young winemakers I know, but his wines are outspoken and characterful. This lightly sparkling frizzante style is typical of the region .

He partly ferments it in tanks, and then bottles it to develop the all-important bubbles. Croci is situated in the Colli Piacentini sub-region, home to the very particular Malvasia di Candia Aromatica variety. As you might expect from its name, this is a very aromatic grape, with a distinctive candied-fruit and dried-flower perfume.

Campedello always has a few weeks of skin contact, and there are tannins as well as bubbles, a combination that I loveespecially in tandem with some of the pork-heavy cuisine that’s popular in the region.

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Oro Di Diamanti Vines Sum 2019

This bottle is made with grapes from Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy, and takes advantage of Old World practices with old vines to match. Its made using a technique that seals the wine bottlebeforefermentation is finished to allow for extra fermentation in the bottle, creating more effervescence upon opening. This orange wine is light and perfect for easy drinking whenever you need a big glass of something in your hand.

Best Off Dry: Domaine Glinavos Paleokerisio


Courtesy of Total Wine

Region: Ioannina, Greece | ABV: 10.5% | Tasting Notes: Peach skin, orange, grapefruit rind

Cant decide between semi-sparking / off-dry or skin-contact wine? Good news theres no need to juice. This slightly sweet, low-ABV bottle from Domaine Glinavos is the perfect solution. Crafted from the local varieties of Debina and Vlahiko, this pleasant bottle of refreshing bubbles jumps with flavors of peach skin, apple blossom, ripe oranges, and grapefruit rind. Sip with brunch, weekend lunches, or dinner you really cant go wrong here.

Rovine reveals that he personally isnt a big pairings person, and that ultimately, the quality of a given food and wine matters most. The best pairings are the best wines with the best foods, he says, stating that orange wine can be enjoyed all year long.

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Orange Natural & Vegan Wines

Skin fermented white wines, or orange wines, are made from white or pink grape varieties fermented in contact with the grape skins. In order to be certified by VQA, the wine must be fermented on skins for a minimum of 10 days. Due to the skin contact fermentation, orange wines have more tannin and often feature herbal notes and tea-like characteristics.

Pét-Nat, or Mèthode Ancestrale, is a method of sparkling wine production. Unlike the traditional method, in which sugar and yeast are added to the bottle to begin secondary fermentation, pet-nat is created b bottling partially fermented wine. The first and only fermentation occurs in bottle and traps the CO2, creating pét-nats bubbles.

A Vegan wine uses no animal products in the winemaking process. While some wines are made with traditional practices, using animal-derived products for various processes during winemaking, vegan wines use vegetable-based alternatives for these processes . The best way to confirm a wine is vegan is to contact the winery directly.

For more information on these types of wines, please contact our media team at .

Abbazia San Giorgio Lustro Catarratto 2019

This bottle comes from a biodynamic vineyard on the Italian island of Pantelleria. With no additives of any kind, the fermentation of the grapes comes from yeasts released by the skin of the grapes to create soft tannins. Its unfiltered which gives it a slightly cloudy appearance and makes for a great pairing with a sweet dessert like honey cake.

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Donkey And Goat Winery Stone Crusher Roussanne

When Jared and Tracey Brandt started playing around with skin fermentation for their Roussanne back in 2009, they weren’t even aware that “orange wine” existed as a thing or a category.

Now the world has caught up. Their chunky, expressive Roussanne is a highlight for me every year. Macerated for about two weeks on the skins, it shows vibrant apricot fruit with a fine salty seam and racy acidity on the finish. Interestingly, it feels far tauter and more lively than many varietal Rousannes from the grape’s home in the Rhône valley, where it can sometimes feel a bit flabby.

Stone Crusher is aptly namedit’s substantial, and could almost be a meal in itself. But packed with ripe fruit and mineral tension as it is, the balance is perfect. Best way to get it? Contact the winery directlyand then explore the rest of their fascinating portfolio.

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Ask Adam: What Is Skin

Grape Skin Experiment, Master Vintner

Skin contact wine is exactly what it sounds like: wine that has come in contact with the skins of grapes. Perhaps less obvious is the why? which is to extract pigments and tannins from the grapes, which will ultimately determine the wines appearance, texture, and flavor.

All red wine is skin-contact wine because thats where the wine gets its color. When red grapes are crushed, their juice runs clear its only from that juice soaking with the skins that it becomes red. Rosé, as well, gets its color from skin contact: Its a brief soak with the skins, often as little as 12 hours, which gives rosé its pink hue.

However, when you hear the term skin-contact wine, wine professionals are rarely talking about red or rosé, since making these wines through this technique is the norm. If skin contact is specifically mentioned, its much more likely theyre talking about white wine. Thats right, white wines can be, and sometimes are, made using skin contact.


The next time you see the term skin contact on a wine list, give it a go! Its not a style for everyone, but you might discover that you really love it.

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For People Who Swear They Hate Orange Wine

Clot de lOrigine lOriginal White Blend, 2015$23, Lou Wine ShopClot de lOrigines lOriginal screams spring in every way. It looks like the late-afternoon sun in March, just barely golden, and smells like a Pinterest-perfect bridal bouquet of white lilies, candied ginger, and sprigs of thyme, tied with an orange-rind bow. lOriginal starts juicy with layers of spiced cantaloupe and soft apples but finishes dry with lemon zest and limestone minerality. Thirst-quenching but approachable, this blend of 85% Macabeu and 15% Muscat from Frances Languedoc is the perfect entry-level skin-contact wine. Also, it pairs fantastically with pappardelle with kabocha squash cream sauce. Just throwing that out there.

Best French: Anne Pichon Sauvage Orange 2020

Region: Ventoux, Rhône Valley, France | ABV: 14% | Tasting Notes: Apple blossom, citrus rind, crushed stones

For a skin-contact wine that packs a serious punch, check out Anne Pichons Sauvage. Anne founded her eponymous estate with her late husband, Marc, in the heart of Frances Vaucluse region. They quickly converted their 15 hectares to all organic farming and dedicated the estate to creating site-specific wines unique to the area from which they come.

Sauvage is a blend of roussanne and sauvignon blanc that spends 12 months aging on the lees in barrel. Full-bodied notes of apple blossom, citrus rind, and crushed stones lead to a palate-coating, long-lasting finish. Serve with pungent cheeses, mezze platters, or roasted root vegetables.

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Where Does It Come From

The process of making Orange wine is ancient, but the reinvigoration of this process has only resurfaced in the last 20 odd years. Many modern-day winemakers look as far back as 5000 years in Caucasus where wines fermented in large subterranean vessels called Qvevri that were originally closed with stones and sealed with beeswax.

Orange wine served traditionally with food at Klinec in Gorika Brda, Slovenia

Orange wines are still rare, but many countries have a growing interest in this natural winemaking style.


Most orange winemaking can be found in northeastern Italy, along the border of Slovenia in Friuli-Venezia Giulia. Here you can find orange wines produced with the indigenous grapes of the region, including Sauvignon Vert , Ribolla Gialla, and Pinot Grigio. The orange wine process was popularized in Italy by winemaker Josko Gravner who first attempted an orange wine in 1997.

Example Italian Orange Wine Producers:
  • BressanCarat
  • Donati CamilloMalvasia dellEmilia
  • Frank CornelissenMunjebel
  • Angiolino MauleSassaia
  • Radikon
  • I Vigneri by Salvo Foti


Example Slovenian Orange Wine Producers:
  • Klinec
  • Princic


A Kvevri is an ancient Georgian fermentation vessel that is buried in the ground to control the temperature.

Example Georgian Orange Wine Producers:
  • Pheasants Tears
  • LagvinariGoruli Mtsvane,Tsolikouri and Tsitska

Perfect Food Pairings For Orange Wine

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Because of their complexity in aromas and flavors, structure and good acidity, skin-contact wines pair with a wide variety of foods. Common pairings include cream sauces, curries, spicy foods, roasted poultry and any seafood including shellfish.

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  • Other White Blends from Central Coast, California4.214 Ratings

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Best Overall: Cos Pithos Bianco

Courtesy of Vivino

Region: Sicily, Italy | ABV: 11.5% | Tasting Notes: Apricots, Yellow raisins, Mandarin

Produced in the heart of the Cerasuolo di Vittoria appellation of Italy, COS wines have become some of the most beloved natural wines across the United States. Crafted at the hands of Giusto Occhipinti, one of the most influential winemakers in all of Italy, this varietal skin-contact Grecanico jumps with juicy flavors of apricots, yellow raisins, and mandarin. For those looking for a fresh, easy-drinking expression of orange wine, check out this delicious bottle. Made with organic/biodynamic fruit, native yeasts, and 30+ days of skin contact.

I enjoy orange wines as often as possible, with as many friends as allowed, says Eric Plambeck, co-owner of , a bar in Williamsburg. Plambeck also affirms his disdain for the idea of the seasonality of wine. I drink rosé in the winter and bubbles any chance I get, he says, noting that with regards to food, orange wines pair well with basically everything. I dare to say orange wine almost always has acid or tannin, so it goes well with almost anything. Youll see the same bottle popped at Wus and a BYOB Italian joint.

Orange Wine Is A Lot Older Than You Might Think

At most restaurants I frequent in Los Angeles, I notice at least one wine labeled orange or skin contact on the menu, and Oregon, Washington, and other parts of California are all catching on. This is in part due to a growing millennial interest in natural wine.

Millennials arent bound by tradition so theyre super open to trying new things different from what their parents like, Martinez says. Orange is fun, interesting, not stodgy, you dont have to spend hundreds of dollars on a bottleand we dont talk about it like that. We drink this stuff because we like it, not because it has to taste a certain way.

But while orange wine is gaining recent popularity in the West, it actually has a long history. Winemakers in the country of Georgia started making the style 8,000 years ago, Ringe says. They did it as a method of preservation. They didnt have all these preservatives and learned that if you let the juice sit with the skins, you ended up with something that would last longer. In Georgia, they call that amber wine.

So why is orange wine only becoming more popular in the West now? It may be due to a constellation of factors, such as the lack of additives, which in conventional wines can leave consumers with headaches and other side effects, the broad spectrum of flavors and tasting notes that can be imparted by natural fermentation and time, and the pleasant price point that leaves most bottles on the market at under $50.

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Rene Sferrazza Sommelier Wine Writer And Consultant

A good holiday wine gift is one that is thoughtful, brings a new experience to the glass and leaves a big smile on their face, says Sferrazza, an industry insider who frequently drops bottle recos on her . Try not to rely on old go-to selections and explore something new with a familiar edge. The care you put in your selection will show through.

Impress your pinot-grigio-loving friends with a 1,000-year-old indigenous grape varietal, verdejo, from the D.O. Rueda wine region in Spain. Nekora 2019 By Diez Siglos is light, crisp with tons of citrus and herbal flavoursproper Rueda personality. Guaranteed to impress and perfect for pairing with an array of holiday dishes.

Keep up the local support this holiday with Flat Rock Cellars Gravity Pinot Noir. This wine is so memorable, although lighter in style, and it truly packs a punch. The thoughtful winemaking process and careful barrel aging make for a wine that is ready to drink and pair with any appetizer.

Bold red wines are a holiday go-to. South Africa is a region know for its big reds, and the female winemakers of the country are taking this wine category by storm. Aslina Wines by Ntsiki Biyela has made a big splash with its Umsasane red Bordeaux blend. The wine is smooth and inviting, begging for another glass once the first is finished!

Bichi La Gorda Yori White

Ep 289: Orange (Skin Contact) Wines

The team behind Bichi recently revived an abandoned vineyard in Tecate, Mexico, to create their unique blends of natural wines. This one in particular is fermented with 35 days of skin contact prior to pressing. It has a bit of funk to it but makes for an excellent pairing with a variety of different dishes, from fish and meat to a light dessert.

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The Best Orange Wines For 2021 Are:

  • Best overall Bodegas Moraza Rioja viura moraza 4 caminos 2018, 11%: £24,
  • Best with pizza Calcarius orange Puglia 2020, 11%: £23.00,
  • Best for BBQ Winzer Krems orange gruner veltliner 2019, 13%: £10.99,
  • Best with spicy dishes Sicus a wine work orange, 11%: £13.77,
  • Best with seafood La Maceration du Soula blanc no 19, 13%: £35,
  • Best for casual drinks Rigal vin orange, 12%: £10,
  • Best English wine Litmus orange bacchus 2020, 12.5%: £14.99,
  • Best for drinks on the patio Lambert Spielmann this is muska, 12.5%: £33,
  • Best vegan wine Macerao naranjo orange, 13.5%: £8.99,

For People Who Usually Choose Beer Over Wine

Denavolo Dinavolo Vino Bianco, 2010$34, Lou Wine ShopThe copper-toned Dinavolo smells like orange rinds withering in the sun on a wet clay tennis court, with splashes of pineapple and mango. It tastes like eating tangerines and kumquats, with sips of a sour raspberry beer . The blend of 25% Malvasia di Candia, 25% Marsanne, 25% Ortugo, and 25% mystery varietals is melodic and fluid but gritty and gripping with a warm and citrusy tannic finish.

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