Over the past 10 years Orange wines are increasingly popular. So what is an orange wine?
Whilst they can be a sweet wine that has been macerated with orange peel or even a wine made from oranges (!), in this instance they refer to wines with white grape varieties that have spent some time macerating in contact with their skins, thereby giving them an orange colour and a degree of tannin rarely found in a white wine. These extra dimensions give some really interesting textures to the wine.
Natural wines are those made with no chemicals and minimum technological intervention in growing grapes and making them into wine. Using natural occurring yeasts, what marks them as separate from organic or biodynamic wine is that there is hardly any intervention in the cellar, allowing the wines to take a natural course in their fermentation. All natural wines are farmed organically at a minimum, and many growers follow biodynamic principles in the vineyard as well. A few winemakers add tiny quantities of sulphites at bottling to prevent oxidation. There is no official natural certification hence it can be a little loose-limbed as a classification!
Organic wine is produced from organically grown grapes which have been certified as such. The chink in the armour is that whilst the grapes might be organic, they can be manipulated just like any wine, but may be subject to chemical and physical manipulation in the winemaking process.
Very simply, these wines contain zero sulphur, making them a bit unpredictable but more enjoyable for those of us who do not like or are allergic to sulphur
Currently, for a wine to be labeled “biodynamic” it has to meet the stringent standards laid down by the Demeter Association, which is an internationally recognized certifying body. The idea of biodynamic viticulture originates from the ideas of Rudolf Steiner, dating from 1924 as a reaction to the introduction of artificial fertilisers. Biodynamics has an almost spiritual aspect, concentrating upon the holistic interconnectivity of the whole farm. Whilst avoiding scientific scrutiny, practitioners of this system make some of the very best wines in the world.....sometimes we all need a little faith!
It should be added that due to the cost of being recognised as "Biodynamic" and some of their more bizarre practices, many producers adopt various aspects of Biodynamics but not all and they come under a more flexible term of "Lutte Raisonne"
Ok, so not exactly a production ethos but we will use this symbol to indicate wines that are beloved by Sommeliers for their food friendliness and we'll try to list where you can find them when eating out!