Producing Orange Wine in Brunello di Montalcino land
The latest novelty labeled Podere Le Ripi, a biodynamic winery in the heart of Val d’Orcia, is the production of an Orange Wine, Cannatorta.
Something about the Orange Wine
Firstly, what is Orange Wine and where does it come from? It has ancient origins that come from Georgia, considered to be the oldest winemaking country. In there they’ve been making wine for the past 8000 years, to be exact. We produce it by using white grapes and by leaving the wine in contact with the skins. That in order to macerate for a prolonged amount of time. The constant skin contact allows the wine to absorb high quantities of substances present on the skin’s surface. This is what gives the wine a great complexity, along with an orange hue.
The orange wine production
Producing orange wine furthermore implies using terracotta amphoras, placed above or below ground, where the wine basically “makes itself”.
As technology and machinery advanced, this ancient practice of winemaking quickly disappeared throughout most of the world. In fact, it was used as long as wineries began adopting machinery that is able to remove grape skins immediately. Georgia and a few, small scale producers dotted around the Old World were the only ones keeping this craft alive.
Podere Le Ripi’s enologist, Sebastian, decided to start this artisanal wine production as a way of innovating.
We leave Cannatorta to ferment and macerate in terracotta amphoras for 8 months. After, we placed it at the lowest point of our spiral-shaped Golden Cellar, where the temperature is the lowest and most constant.
When tasting it, one can immediately perceive a fresh, elegant bouquet of white roses with noticeable hints of honey and herbs. It appears to have a similar structure to red wine in the mouth. This unusual aspect is due to the wine’s light tannic structure and crunchy texture.
Whereas most Brunello di Montalcino wines are best when paired with the local, Tuscan, rich and fat cuisine, Orange Wines are pair perfectly with a range of cuisines. In our opinion: especially the highly refined Japanese one.