From left, Amber Folly 2016, Chilion 2015, Ramato 2013, Wayward Son 2016, Gewurztraminer Demoiselle 2015, Mtsvane 2015, Rebula 2012

Ballerinas That Ride Harleys

That’s how one expert describes orange wines, deceptive whites now generating lots of buzz among oenophiles. You’ll want to try ’em.

BY LANEE LEE | PHOTOGRAPHY BY R.J. HINKLE

Vinous exotica. If the Latin term for orange wines doesn’t pique your interest, we don’t know what will. But while these wines are indeed exotic, they’re quickly becoming less rare with their global popularity now increasing at a rapid clip. Until recently, the former Soviet republic of Georgia, Italy, and Slovenia dominated this market, but now nearly every wine region in the world has started producing orange wines, including U.S. vintners from Oregon’s Willamette Valley to New York’s Finger Lakes.

Don’t let the name fool you. Not associated with the citrus fruit, these wines are actually white wines. During fermentation and aging, white-grape skins, stems, and seeds are left in the juice, infusing it with golden amber hues. Due to this au naturel approach and usually no added yeast or pesticides, orange wines are part of the natural wine movement. Click here to read more about this recent trend captivating American wine drinkers.

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