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An Amber Revolution


Do you know about “Orange” wine? There’s an Amber Revolution going on all around us.

Some of the most intriguing wine I’ve ever drunk would be classified as ‘Orange’, but what does that really mean? More importantly, have you ever tried it, and what do YOU think?

Is it an explosive style of wine that explores new depths of flavour and structure … or basically just good wine gone bad?

I’ve yet to research whether anything on the Society list would qualify as ‘Orange wine’ but this category is most certainly becoming more popular on the wine lists of restaurants and wine bars across the world. Does anyone have one they particularly like?

My friend, Simon Woolf, is writing the first and only definitive book on this style of wine (for the record, this is wine made with extended skin maceration) and has launched a Kickstarter page to fund this so I’m intrigued ot know how aware you might be about this ‘new’ category of wines

Orange wine?
Help me with your suggestions of Wine Stars of Tomorrow

I have had two skin contact whites that I enjoyed… La Stoppa Ageno (Malvazia Bianca) in Terroirs and a taste of a skin contact Santorini Assyrtiko at my local wine shop Wimbledon Wine Cellar.

I think it gives an extra dimension to the otherwise uninteresting Malvasia Bianca, but the Assyrtiko did not really need it. Generally not one for the Amber revolution, if I want tannin I drink red…


I’ve never been able to find one (although admittedly I haven’t really gone out of my way to find one!) locally so sadly not been able to try one.

Do The Wine Society stock one at all?


I guess the Georgian White qualifies as an Orange wine (or at least Qveri wines are the granddaddy of all Orange wine). Though perhaps the WS could look into stocking some new wave examples from North East Italy or Slovenia?


Indeed - it is almost true to say that all qvevri wines ARE Orange wines (since they remain in contact with skins for months), but the opposite is not the case as orange wines can be made in different ways

If I recall, the Georgian wine available from The Society is not the wineries’ Qvevri wine, but their stainless-steel vat wine (which may have a % of qvevri wine blended into it), so probably not really orange or qvevri, sadly.

I have loved some Georgian wine (though not all I will be honest), but the tastiest ‘orange’ wines I have tasted myself have been Croatian. I’ve not tried much from the famous Italian producers of this style, so my experience is limited.


Quick update… just tried a Tissot Savagnin Amphore from the enomatic machine at The Sampler in Wimbledon.

It was nice, but still not convinced at the price point…


This Savagnin line up was interesting, but I only liked the Amphore and Vin Jaune (a first for me)…


10 years ago I lived in Azerbaijan for a year, and the only wines we could get hold of were cheap Californian mass produced rubbish at extortionate prices, local Azeri wines which for the most part tasted like vinegar or very reasonably priced Georgian wine. So we drank a lot of different wines from Georgia, but primarily Tsinandali wines. The only good part of living in Baku at that time was the Georgian wines :joy::joy:


I’m a fan of orange wines and had some pretty good ones… What they were I’ve got no idea. I normally drink them at a place where one would expect to find such bottles and take their recommendation (e.g. Terroirs). Good food wines.

I went to Kiln in Soho a couple months back and they offered three different orange wines by the glass. That was a good night!


You can say that again. Terroirs rules.


The Society currently has a wine that is one-third orange.


ooh, sounds fab!

Right, that’s on the list!


It was also in the line-up at the Christmas tasting. The orange wine character comes through, but is subtle enough not to overpower.


I’m a big fan of orange/skin contact whites. Depending on mood (and setting) they make a great aperitif option if, like me, you’re a fan of fino sherries and things that really make your tastebuds sing. I’ve tried quite a few orange wines now, from overpoweringly intense natural examples to fairly bland, cashing-in-on-a trend industrial wines with, but I have to say this Cot de Languedoc is about as fine an introduction to the style as you’d hope to find. Distinctive, effortlessly drinkable and not too challenging.


Not sure of the form of promoting another company on here, but there is a georgian qvevri wine available on the high street where the patron saint is Saint Michael (one for the teenagers) that is a pretty good entry wine.

I buy loads… if moderators are happy for me to provide names of producers/indies of where to get them I am more than happy to share.


I think it is safe to say that links to other merchants are not frowned upon. I am sure the moderators will confirm in due course.


Members can post any links they want, it is a discussion Space :slight_smile:


OK, hopefully this is helpful for those wanting to try new wines… but a point of clarification… when people speak of Orange wines, what do they really mean. Is it simply skin contact whites that have the amber hue, reds that have been treated the same way, wines with no additives/sulphur or basically an umbrella term for everything “different” or Natural, as they are often called?

Let’s not get bogged down in the semantics and lets see if we can point folk in the right direction. Which can be pricey. Your average “orange” wine in the UK is topping the charts at around £25. Sure you can find a few £12-15 wines… but you’re as likely to find wines that are £40 to drink now.

I basically follow four main importers in the UK: Tutto Wines, The Winemakers Club, Gergovie Wines and Les Cave de Pyrene. Whilst they are all based in London or the South East, they all distribute to places all over the country. Gergovie Wines are based out of 40 Maltby Street restaurant, which is a cracking place to eat. As is The Winemakers Club in Deptford - but their wine bar on Farringdon Street in London is my favourite bolt hole to drink in.

Les Cave de Pyrene are a distributor but now have an online shop and Tutto Wines really put most of what they import in to places like Noble Fine Liquor which has three sites in London (if you include P Franco) and an online store. I pick up most of my wines from Noble Fine Liquor or The Winemakers Club, but Leeds (where I live) is now riding the orange wave with places like The Reliance (and soon to be Wayward Wines) and Ham and Friends. Buon Vino is another online place I have bought from in the past. Then there are specialist shops such as Newcomer Wines that stock mainly Austrian wines.

In terms of producers, there is a really good mix of old style (amphora wine producers) across various parts of Italy - notably Sicily and the North East and various pockets in Easter Europe around Georgia and Slovenia. Likewise there are other producers using concrete eggs or steel tanks to hold their wine - on skins or without.

A list of my favourite producers spans Spain, Austria, Italy and Australia of late. Here are a few of them that I have drunk in the last year or so:

Andrea Occhipinti
Angiolino Maule
Arianna Occhipinti
Cantine Rallo
Dario Princic
Elisabetta Foradori
La Stoppa
Paola Bea
Casina Degli Ulivi
Ca de Noci
Cantian Giardino
Emidio Pepe
Frank Cornelissen - currently tipping the scales at "ooh, that seems a bit expensive"
Farnea - Their Emma has turned a lot of people I know on to Orange wines
Le Coste
Nino Barraco
Orsi san vito
Sean O’Callaghan - used to make a top notch Chianti under another name. Now branched out on his own

Ad Vinum
Jean Foillard - this is where it blurs in to language like Biodynamic
Jean Pierre Robinot
No Control
Domaine Mattasa
Patrick Mayer
Patrick Bouju
La Sorga

Claus Peisinger
Martin and Anna Arndorfer

Tom Shobbrock
Patrick Sullivan

Partida Creus - possibly my favourite producer over the last 12 months.

Someone also to look out for his Vinnaturo. Tom is an English lad that makes Bag in a Box wine from a host of really great producers from all over Europe. Likewise Le Grappin who make great wines in France and sell them all over the UK - in bagnums and bottles.

It does sometimes make me wonder why I am so skint, then i see the list above of wines I have drunk over the last 12 months - in addition to my bi-monthly WS order and it’s clear… the kids are never going to University.



he he he, but what an education (in Orange wine) that you will be able to give them when they most need it, right?


Another interesting Italian ‘Orange’ wine to look out for is Castello dei Rumpolla’s Trebianco. Heard about it when visiting the winery, but unfortunately didn’t taste, and not sure if you can get it over here: