Orange wine is….
A. A red wine that has been exposed to considerable oxygen and heat
B. A white wine made by fermenting the grapes on their skins
C. A wine that is made from a special orange-ish colored clone of a variety
D. A wine made in amphora or qvevri pottery
White wines are generally pressed off of their skins shortly after entering the winery— not the case with an orange wine. An orange/amber color is produced when white grape varieties ferment with their skins. In addition to an orange-ish color, the extended exposure to skins gives this style of white wine more tannin and a slight note of bitterness. Orange wines can be fermented in a variety of different vessels including stainless steel tanks or oak barrels. Often, a traditional method in clay amphora and qvevri is used, but othertypes of wines can also be made in these receptacles, so they are not synonymous with orange wines. The flavors and textures of wines made in a amphora and qvevri are quite distinct. Often there’s a resiny, character or something that’s smokey and peaty not unlike single malt Scotch. Depending on the variety of grapes used, the flavors can be reminiscent of wild herbs, dried orange peel, dried apricots, walnut skins, sea salt, minerals, ginger, and spiced tea.