A decade ago, if you could point to the Vipava valley on a map you were probably a paragliding fan. Or you lived there. That’s changing fast though, as the spectacular (and spectacularly windy) valley that runs east-west across western Read more
Simon is lucky enough to taste an incredible vertical of Gravner’s wines, during a celebratory weekend as his book Amber Revolution launches in Europe
Ribolla Gialla isn’t a grape variety you find much in the US, but this skin fermented example from Channing Daughters in Long Island is a convincing effort.
One of the more popular questions I get asked in masterclasses is “how many days of maceration is necessary before a white wine becomes an orange wine?”
Mlečnik Ana is a great way to answer this question.
Personal memories of orange wine pioneer Stanko Radikon, who passed away on September 11 2016.
In November 2014, I met five winemakers at a small tasting in San Floriano del Collio. Quietly spoken and rather shy, Mitja Miklus from the Draga estate seemed to blend into the background. But this young chap is smart – he doesn’t need to adopt the bluster of a salesman, his wines do the talking quite well by themselves.
I’m not sure that I have heroes anymore – and those I once had were certainly not wine writers. That said, if I did, and if they were, Hugh Johnson OBE would be a candidate. Several of his books are on my Read more
“The really big change was when I tasted the wine. It was something completely new, totally different and exciting. It made me crazy, just tasting it.”
This is how Stanko Radikon describes the life changing moment in 1995 which prompted him to change the family’s entire wine production to what we now know and love as “orange wines”.
You can tell a great winemaker not by what they produce in a good year, but by what they pull together from a catastrophic one. And it didn’t get much worse than Dario Prinčič’s 2008 vintage, where some 90% of his harvest was infected with Peronospora (downy mildew). Prinčič salvaged a pitiful amount of grapes, blended the entire output together and made a one off – the aptly named “Favola”, meaning fable or legend.
It’s starting to become a theme in this series – edge cases which are not really orange wines. Take the sole white wine from microscopic but world reknowned Le Due Terre, in Friuli Colli Orientali. A blend of Friulano with 30% Ribolla Gialla, it has 10-12 days of skin contact. Yet it doesn’t fit the “orange wine” moniker in a stylistic sense.