Orange wine is probably the original white wine. How so you might ask? Well, wine is made by fermenting the juice or 'must' of grapes. Originally, the 'must' was left on the skins and that's how we got the colour of the wine - it comes from the skins. Most grapes, when pressed, give white juice, only a few red varieties have red juice, tannat and alicante bouchet being 2 of them, which is why red wine is left on the skins; to get that red colour we all expect. White wine on the other hand is not left on the skins but pressed and the skins are immediately removed, so we get clear, yellow-hued white wine.
Back in the day though, the original winemakers just left the skins in with the juice and, if left long enough, white grape skins turn the juice a nice orange-y or rose gold colour.
Nowadays, we separate the skins from the white wine 'must' but some winemakers have gone back to wines' roots and leave the juice to macerate/ferment with the skins and that is how we get orange wines. Some leave it for even longer but that really is up to the wine maker.
Which brings us to this week's wine. Spook Light is made by NZ producer The Supernatural Wine Co. It's certified organic, naturally vinified, uses indigenous yeasts and is low sulphur. They aim to to make their wines as naturally as possible and since being certified organic in 2015 have now embarked on biodynamic certification.
The Spook Light is their skin fermented Pinot Gris and spends 2 - 3 weeks on the skins. Afterwards, the wine is pressed off the skins and left on fine lees until bottling, it is unfined and unfiltered. The result is a rose-orange coloured wine, with a spicy red fruit nose and on the palate, it's clean and fresh with great intensity and complexity. The tannins are also there, as to be expected, giving a refreshing astringency to the wine.
An enjoyable wine on its own or with Asian cuisine, I love it! The Spook Light is available in the Vault rrp £23.