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What are orange-style wines?

They are not wines made from oranges.

Instead, they are white wines made like red wine (i.e. skin contact). This is an ancient method of winemaking that is still done in rural areas in Europe, mostly in eastern Europe.

Steve Shaw was one of the first Finger Lakes winemakers to throw caution to the wind and dedicate large, commercially viable lots to the orange wine experiment. The first vintage was 2013, and it was extremely successful with both critics and consumers. The second vintage, in 2014, went even further by allowing skin contact for over an entire year before pressing!

Grapes used thus far in orange wine have been Gewürztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Grigio. These orange wines will not undergo filtration and are made in a cloudy vin rustique style, enhancing mouth feel and texture.

Orange wines are very approachable but they defy typical expectations. In some respects they can have the bounce of a white wine but the depth of a red, and yet the flavors are difficult to pin down in one easy description. Curious wine enthusiasts have something different to try at Shaw Vineyard.

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