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Orange=Natural, Natural=Orange. Is it true?

Posted on
5. October, 2013

First things first – what is “Orange” wine?

For some time now, I’ve been noticing total confusion regarding natural wines comprehension among many occasional wine drinkers. In Slovenia and abroad many people equal “orange” (macerated whites), with natural wines and vice-versa. Mentioning natural wines, many people reply, “oh, yes, those orange ones”… But is it true? Let me explain the term “orange” wines, which I’m slowly starting to resent, for it’s brought more confusion than good. Sommeliers in London started to use the term “Orange wines” some years ago, in order to distinguish classic whites from macerarated white wines. You get classic white wine by crushing, immediately pressing the grapes and then separating must from grape skins, before the beginning of fermentation. “Orange” wines on the other hand, are made like reds. Long grape must contact with skins (maceration). Saying long contact, we mean one or more weeks up to several months. So the difference lies in the process or technique following the harvest, and not whether winegrower follows organic or biodynamic principles in his vineyards and later processes in his cellar. It is true though, that many macerated whites are also natural, for many traditional (natural) wine artisans choose to macerate their white varieties, but thinking that every macerated white wine is natural is very far from the truth. Maceration and natural wines are nothing new. Both have been practiced for thousands of years, but it is also true, that the knowledge of biology, microbiology, chemistry and biochemistry is much better today, comparing to 50 or 100 years ago and by using that knowledge, it is easier to grow and produce high quality, flawless natural wine today, than a century ago .

Let’s go on – so what is natural wine?

Natural wine does not exist as official term in EU legislation, which recognizes and allows the term “organic wine”, but the rules, limits or regulations are far too loose, to be taken seriously, meaning that “organic” sticker on the bottle of wine really means nothing, so let’s not lose any more words on the subject. We better have a look on what’s really important to make a quality natural wine:

  • Organic or biodynamic work and practices in the vineyard. In short: vigneron does NOT use: artificial fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals, with exception of copper (CuSO4) and sulfur (SO2) in powder. Later are being used in minimal quantities, thus preventing their permeation into the plant (vine) and fruit (grapes). Some growers have been experimenting with organic alternatives for copper and sulfur for some years now. No irrigation, except in extreme cases, when life of the vine is threatened, which is a very rare case, because vine is very persistent, “die hard” plant. Choosing not to use chemicals, winegrower ensures healthy environment, particularly soil and preserves naturally present yeasts (indigenous yeasts), normally present on healthy grape skins. This is, as we are going to learn later, of extreme importance.
  • Clean vineyard. Here we think of absence of pesticides, herbicides, artificial fertilizers in the vineyards. It takes about 10 years at least, to switch conventional (contaminated) vineyard to organic and even more to grow it according to biodynamic principles. Vine, which grows without help of chemicals and irrigation, grows its roots deep and/or wide, and is therefore less sensitive to drought, significantly more resistant to diseases and pests, resulting in practically NO need for chemical protection – herbicides, pesticides…
  • Optimal quantity of grapes on the vine (yield) plays very significant role in quality of wine, but less is not always more in terms of quality. Winegrower himself must decide, depending on terroir (geographical position, altitude, soil, climate, rain level…) and variety, what yield gives best results to produce high quality natural wine. This approach is commonly practiced by natural winegrowers, for they are looking for best possible quality, but they could just as well decide to produce an average quality natural wine in bigger volumes. It would still be natural.
  • Harvest timing. Choosing the right time to harvest is essential for efficient spontaneous alcoholic fermentation and high quality end result. Thinking that natural winegrowers all choose to harvest later in order to get higher sugar levels for higher alcohol levels is very far from the truth. What we are looking for, is pristine “terroir” expression. Natural wines do not undergo interventions like: taking away the tannins, acids, alcohol (reverse osmosis) or adding enzymes, tannins, aromatic tannins, acids, sugars … therefore optimal ripeness of tannins, phenolic ripeness, sugar and acids levels in the grapes are of huge importance, because later corrections are no option here.
  • Top level hygiene. All procedures, hoses, vessels and cellar must be clean, in order to avoid contaminations or infections, which would lead to wine with faults. It doesn’t mean though, that the cellar must be sterile. Spontaneous fermentation is also triggered by indigenous yeasts, naturally present in the cellar.
  • Spontaneous alcoholic fermentation. Probably the most important part of natural wine making. Fermentation of natural wine should be triggered by indigenous yeasts, naturally present on grape skins. The use of pesticides, herbicides and other phyto-pharmaceuticals would kill those yeasts, meaning the fermentation would only be possible with the use of commercial / selected ones, leading to significantly changed flavor, taste and character of the wine. Naturally present, indigenous yeasts give the wine the special character, typical for particular terroir. This is why Chardonnay from Mlečnik from Bukovica, Vipavska valley is totally different from Šumenjak‘s from Jakobski dol, Styria, Slovenia. Using commercial yeasts would make the difference much smaller, it could even completely “erase” typical characteristics of Chardonnay as a variety. The subject of indigenous yeasts and fermentation is of course much deeper and demands a lot of knowledge and experience, but let’s leave that for some other time.
  • Maceration. It has nothing to do with natural wines directly. It is essential for making red wines and roses. Long skin contact for reds, shorter for roses. It can also be used for still whites and sparkling. For sparkling, maceration is of course used during first fermentation. Great macerated sparkling are made by Camillo Donati or Branko and Vasja Čotar. Talking of white macerated wines, there are short skin contacts (few hours to a few days), as well as long skin contacts (several weeks or even months). Short maceration is mostly being used to enhance spontaneous fermentation, while the color remains almost unchanged. Long skin contact on the other hand, leaches tannins and color out of grape skins, resulting in intensive gold or even amber (orange??) color and such wine is closer to red wine from the tannin structure point of view. It is ancient technique, known from the territory of today’s Georgia and Armenia, but if the winegrower hasn’t been following organic or biodynamic principles, the wine would be macerated conventional and not natural wine.

– Piquentum, Malvasia Istriana , 3-4 days of maceration –                  

piquentum_malvazija_malvasia

 

– Pheasant’s Tears, Rkatsiteli, several months of maceration –

rkatsiteli_macerated_wine_georgia

  • Uncontrolled temperature during fermentation. When our ancestors built their cellars, they did it on the basis of their knowledge and practical experience, which means, that the temperature of the part of the cellar where fermentation took place, did regulate the temperature during fermentation to some extent. Uncontrolled temperature does not automatically lead to something positive, for it can lead to high level of volatile acids, meaning such wine will resemble to vinegar, rather than wine. Some winegrowers try to present such faults as perfectly normal characteristics of natural wine, but that is a cheap excuse for bad work or we could say: “nice try buddy”.
  • No filtration. Fulvio Bressan from Farra d’Isonzo, Friuli makes fantastic natural wines. During my first visit to his estate last year, he showed me the wine filtering device in his cellar. After he saw the expression on my face, he laughed really loud, as he often does and explained to me, that his father insists, the filtering device stays in the cellar, reminding him constantly, what a fool he’d been, when he was still filtering his wines. Bressans haven’t been doing that for more than 20 years. By filtering, we rob the wine its essence, reduce intensity of flavor and taste for at least 20%. Natural wine NEVER undergoes filtration, so you can expect deposit or sediment in the bottle, which among other, contains also natural preservatives, which means, such wine needs very little or no added sulfur before bottling, but it’s still stable. The biggest part of the deposit though, remains in the first vessel (barrel, amphora, steel tank…). When solid parts “sit” on the bottom of the vessel, winemaker decants the wine from “original” vessel to the new one by the means of gravity. This is also called racking and can be done more than once. This way she/he avoids having too much solid parts in the bottle.
  • Clarification, fining, color stabilization… Are not practiced. Gum arabica, bentonite, enzymes, micro-filtration and other chemical and/or mechanical interventions, which are commonly used in conventional wine production, ARE NOT part of traditional, natural winemaking.
  • NO sulfur (SO2). There are winegrowers, who make top quality, flawless wines, which are stable and can age perfectly with no added sulfur. Unfortunately, there are many, who choose not to add sulfur out of commercial or PR reasons only, not having enough knowledge and experience to do so, which leads to wines full of faults. We could say something similar for winegrowers who make skin contact whites in order to improve sales. Natural wines have very low level of total amount of sulfur, under 80 mg/l and very often under 40 mg/l, the level proven more than enough, to keep the wine stable. Top artisans, like Čotars for instance, will assess on time, whether particular vintage can be bottled with or without adding some amount of SO2. Beating head against the wall doesn’t bring positive results here.
  • Natural wines don’t age. Not true. In my post covering this year’s “RAW fair” in London, I mentioned the tasting of “NO ADDED SULFUR” wines. Among 10, 20 years and older wines we tasted Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 1983, from Emidio Pepe, and Silvaner 1947 from Strohmeier, both in TOP condition. Bear in mind, that before mid fifties of the past century, when first pesticides and herbicides were introduced, followed by artificial fertilizers a few years later, all wines were more or less natural. As always, there were of course, bad, average, good and top quality wines. Only later aged well. Then and now. Top quality natural wines age perfectly, be it red, white, amber (orange ??) or sparkling. Georgian wines for instance, need at least three to five years, to reach the point when they are pleasant to enjoy and at least ten years to reach the top, which in my opinion can last many more years. 

– Čotar, white cuvée, white variety maceration, 1980 – 

cotar_1980_macerated_orange_wine cotar_1980_macerirano_oranzno_vino

 

– Emidio Pepe, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, 1983 –

emidio_pepe_1982_montepulciano_d_abruzzo

  • Indigenous varieties. They don’t bring natural wine “per se”, by themselves. It is true though, that indigenous varieties are much better adapted to the particular local conditions, than maybe some other (international) varieties. Vitovska garganja does perfect job in Carso, where some other variety would struggle to survive. It is in any case of extreme importance, that winegrower chooses the variety which will not struggle in his terroir, be it indigenous or international.
  • Neutral vessels. Usually old barrels are being used, be it bariques or bigger casks, amphoras (georgian “qvevries” or spanish “tinajas”), recently also concrete and of course inox vessels. The most important thing here is, that the vessel itself DO NOT change the character of wine by extracting tannins or some other content, present in the wood of new barrel for example.

 

So where are “orange wines” in this story?

Thousands of years ago, man was making white wines using the same technique as for reds. It had all started in the territory of today’s Georgia and Armenia and spread farther towards Europe. Our grand-grand fathers had macerated whites as well. Even with the arrival of “modern” enology, many small or family estates had kept making wine traditional (natural) way, which means that you could have been drinking white macerated wines in Slovenia, Italy and other winemaking regions in seventies and eighties of the past century as well. I remember macerated whites from my summer holidays in Opicina (Trieste) in the eighties. Recently, I was honored by Branko & Vasja Čotar with the tasting of white macerated cuvèe 1980. It was in absolutely “top” condition. This proves that “orange” wine is nothing new, but it also proves that Joško Gravner is not the one, who reintroduced them. There were many others before him, but it is true though, that Joško is doing absolutely perfect job and that he’s the man who put those wines back on world wine map and wine lists of the top restaurants of the world. He once said maceration is amplifier. It means it amplifies faults as well. Bad wine will just become worse with maceration. Personally, I love long skin contact whites. Paolo Vodopivec, Čotar, Mlečnik, Nando, Klinec, Prinčič, Radikon, Terpin, Cornelissen, Elisabetta Foradori, Elena Pantaleoni, Camillo Donati, Daniele Piccinin, Ramaz Nikoladze, Pheasant’ Tears, Iago Bitarishvili … are just some masters of long skin contact white wines, which offer devine pleasures to the lover of such wines.

But …

… it is in no case true that orange / amber wines represent majority of natural wines. You can assure yourself of that very easily, on festivals of natural wines like: VinNaturViniVeriLa Renaissance des AppellationsRAWThe Real Wine Fair . You are invited to visit second festival Label Grand Karakterre, which will be held in Ljubljana castel on November 30 and Westin hotel, Zagreb on December 1.  Top quality white, red, rose, sparkling and also “orange” NATURAL wines will be available for tasting. Marko Kovač and Niko Đukan made very strict criterium for winegrowers already for the first Label Grand Karakterre, held last November in Zagreb. This year we expect about 50 winegrowers from Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary, Austria, Italy, France and maybe even Georgia.  

So, “orange” is …

… often also natural, but it doesn’t need to be so. 

So, natural …

… can also be “orange”, though it is often red, white, rose, sparkling.

 

– Natural red wines: Viret, south Rone; La Stoppa, Emilia Romagna – 

viret_la_stoppa_natiural_wine

 

– Unmacerated Cabernet Sauvignon  (red variety!), Viret, south Rone (Blanc de Noir) – 

blanc_de_noir_viret

 

– Dolia Amphora, Viret, south Rone, 3 and a half months maceration of white varieties in amphoras –

dolia_amphora_amber_viret

 

– Organic Champagne, Laherte, 2005 –

laherte_champagne_2005



First things first – what is “Orange” wine?

For some time now, I’ve been noticing total confusion regarding natural wines comprehension among many occasional wine drinkers. In Slovenia and abroad many people equal “orange” (macerated whites), with natural wines and vice-versa. Mentioning natural wines, many people reply, “oh, yes, those orange ones”… But is it true? Let me explain the term “orange” wines, which I’m slowly starting to resent, for it’s brought more confusion than good. Sommeliers in London started to use the term “Orange wines” some years ago, in order to distinguish classic whites from macerarated white wines. You get classic white wine by crushing, immediately pressing the grapes and then separating must from grape skins, before the beginning of fermentation. “Orange” wines on the other hand, are made like reds. Long grape must contact with skins (maceration). Saying long contact, we mean one or more weeks up to several months. So the difference lies in the process or technique following the harvest, and not whether winegrower follows organic or biodynamic principles in his vineyards and later processes in his cellar. It is true though, that many macerated whites are also natural, for many traditional (natural) wine artisans choose to macerate their white varieties, but thinking that every macerated white wine is natural is very far from the truth. Maceration and natural wines are nothing new. Both have been practiced for thousands of years, but it is also true, that the knowledge of biology, microbiology, chemistry and biochemistry is much better today, comparing to 50 or 100 years ago and by using that knowledge, it is easier to grow and produce high quality, flawless natural wine today, than a century ago .

Let’s go on – so what is natural wine?

Natural wine does not exist as official term in EU legislation, which recognizes and allows the term “organic wine”, but the rules, limits or regulations are far too loose, to be taken seriously, meaning that “organic” sticker on the bottle of wine really means nothing, so let’s not lose any more words on the subject. We better have a look on what’s really important to make a quality natural wine:

  • Organic or biodynamic work and practices in the vineyard. In short: vigneron does NOT use: artificial fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals, with exception of copper (CuSO4) and sulfur (SO2) in powder. Later are being used in minimal quantities, thus preventing their permeation into the plant (vine) and fruit (grapes). Some growers have been experimenting with organic alternatives for copper and sulfur for some years now. No irrigation, except in extreme cases, when life of the vine is threatened, which is a very rare case, because vine is very persistent, “die hard” plant. Choosing not to use chemicals, winegrower ensures healthy environment, particularly soil and preserves naturally present yeasts (indigenous yeasts), normally present on healthy grape skins. This is, as we are going to learn later, of extreme importance.
  • Clean vineyard. Here we think of absence of pesticides, herbicides, artificial fertilizers in the vineyards. It takes about 10 years at least, to switch conventional (contaminated) vineyard to organic and even more to grow it according to biodynamic principles. Vine, which grows without help of chemicals and irrigation, grows its roots deep and/or wide, and is therefore less sensitive to drought, significantly more resistant to diseases and pests, resulting in practically NO need for chemical protection – herbicides, pesticides…
  • Optimal quantity of grapes on the vine (yield) plays very significant role in quality of wine, but less is not always more in terms of quality. Winegrower himself must decide, depending on terroir (geographical position, altitude, soil, climate, rain level…) and variety, what yield gives best results to produce high quality natural wine. This approach is commonly practiced by natural winegrowers, for they are looking for best possible quality, but they could just as well decide to produce an average quality natural wine in bigger volumes. It would still be natural.
  • Harvest timing. Choosing the right time to harvest is essential for efficient spontaneous alcoholic fermentation and high quality end result. Thinking that natural winegrowers all choose to harvest later in order to get higher sugar levels for higher alcohol levels is very far from the truth. What we are looking for, is pristine “terroir” expression. Natural wines do not undergo interventions like: taking away the tannins, acids, alcohol (reverse osmosis) or adding enzymes, tannins, aromatic tannins, acids, sugars … therefore optimal ripeness of tannins, phenolic ripeness, sugar and acids levels in the grapes are of huge importance, because later corrections are no option here.
  • Top level hygiene. All procedures, hoses, vessels and cellar must be clean, in order to avoid contaminations or infections, which would lead to wine with faults. It doesn’t mean though, that the cellar must be sterile. Spontaneous fermentation is also triggered by indigenous yeasts, naturally present in the cellar.
  • Spontaneous alcoholic fermentation. Probably the most important part of natural wine making. Fermentation of natural wine should be triggered by indigenous yeasts, naturally present on grape skins. The use of pesticides, herbicides and other phyto-pharmaceuticals would kill those yeasts, meaning the fermentation would only be possible with the use of commercial / selected ones, leading to significantly changed flavor, taste and character of the wine. Naturally present, indigenous yeasts give the wine the special character, typical for particular terroir. This is why Chardonnay from Mlečnik from Bukovica, Vipavska valley is totally different from Šumenjak‘s from Jakobski dol, Styria, Slovenia. Using commercial yeasts would make the difference much smaller, it could even completely “erase” typical characteristics of Chardonnay as a variety. The subject of indigenous yeasts and fermentation is of course much deeper and demands a lot of knowledge and experience, but let’s leave that for some other time.
  • Maceration. It has nothing to do with natural wines directly. It is essential for making red wines and roses. Long skin contact for reds, shorter for roses. It can also be used for still whites and sparkling. For sparkling, maceration is of course used during first fermentation. Great macerated sparkling are made by Camillo Donati or Branko and Vasja Čotar. Talking of white macerated wines, there are short skin contacts (few hours to a few days), as well as long skin contacts (several weeks or even months). Short maceration is mostly being used to enhance spontaneous fermentation, while the color remains almost unchanged. Long skin contact on the other hand, leaches tannins and color out of grape skins, resulting in intensive gold or even amber (orange??) color and such wine is closer to red wine from the tannin structure point of view. It is ancient technique, known from the territory of today’s Georgia and Armenia, but if the winegrower hasn’t been following organic or biodynamic principles, the wine would be macerated conventional and not natural wine.

– Piquentum, Malvasia Istriana , 3-4 days of maceration –                  

piquentum_malvazija_malvasia

 

– Pheasant’s Tears, Rkatsiteli, several months of maceration –

rkatsiteli_macerated_wine_georgia

  • Uncontrolled temperature during fermentation. When our ancestors built their cellars, they did it on the basis of their knowledge and practical experience, which means, that the temperature of the part of the cellar where fermentation took place, did regulate the temperature during fermentation to some extent. Uncontrolled temperature does not automatically lead to something positive, for it can lead to high level of volatile acids, meaning such wine will resemble to vinegar, rather than wine. Some winegrowers try to present such faults as perfectly normal characteristics of natural wine, but that is a cheap excuse for bad work or we could say: “nice try buddy”.
  • No filtration. Fulvio Bressan from Farra d’Isonzo, Friuli makes fantastic natural wines. During my first visit to his estate last year, he showed me the wine filtering device in his cellar. After he saw the expression on my face, he laughed really loud, as he often does and explained to me, that his father insists, the filtering device stays in the cellar, reminding him constantly, what a fool he’d been, when he was still filtering his wines. Bressans haven’t been doing that for more than 20 years. By filtering, we rob the wine its essence, reduce intensity of flavor and taste for at least 20%. Natural wine NEVER undergoes filtration, so you can expect deposit or sediment in the bottle, which among other, contains also natural preservatives, which means, such wine needs very little or no added sulfur before bottling, but it’s still stable. The biggest part of the deposit though, remains in the first vessel (barrel, amphora, steel tank…). When solid parts “sit” on the bottom of the vessel, winemaker decants the wine from “original” vessel to the new one by the means of gravity. This is also called racking and can be done more than once. This way she/he avoids having too much solid parts in the bottle.
  • Clarification, fining, color stabilization… Are not practiced. Gum arabica, bentonite, enzymes, micro-filtration and other chemical and/or mechanical interventions, which are commonly used in conventional wine production, ARE NOT part of traditional, natural winemaking.
  • NO sulfur (SO2). There are winegrowers, who make top quality, flawless wines, which are stable and can age perfectly with no added sulfur. Unfortunately, there are many, who choose not to add sulfur out of commercial or PR reasons only, not having enough knowledge and experience to do so, which leads to wines full of faults. We could say something similar for winegrowers who make skin contact whites in order to improve sales. Natural wines have very low level of total amount of sulfur, under 80 mg/l and very often under 40 mg/l, the level proven more than enough, to keep the wine stable. Top artisans, like Čotars for instance, will assess on time, whether particular vintage can be bottled with or without adding some amount of SO2. Beating head against the wall doesn’t bring positive results here.
  • Natural wines don’t age. Not true. In my post covering this year’s “RAW fair” in London, I mentioned the tasting of “NO ADDED SULFUR” wines. Among 10, 20 years and older wines we tasted Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 1983, from Emidio Pepe, and Silvaner 1947 from Strohmeier, both in TOP condition. Bear in mind, that before mid fifties of the past century, when first pesticides and herbicides were introduced, followed by artificial fertilizers a few years later, all wines were more or less natural. As always, there were of course, bad, average, good and top quality wines. Only later aged well. Then and now. Top quality natural wines age perfectly, be it red, white, amber (orange ??) or sparkling. Georgian wines for instance, need at least three to five years, to reach the point when they are pleasant to enjoy and at least ten years to reach the top, which in my opinion can last many more years. 

– Čotar, white cuvée, white variety maceration, 1980 – 

cotar_1980_macerated_orange_wine cotar_1980_macerirano_oranzno_vino

 

– Emidio Pepe, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, 1983 –

emidio_pepe_1982_montepulciano_d_abruzzo

  • Indigenous varieties. They don’t bring natural wine “per se”, by themselves. It is true though, that indigenous varieties are much better adapted to the particular local conditions, than maybe some other (international) varieties. Vitovska garganja does perfect job in Carso, where some other variety would struggle to survive. It is in any case of extreme importance, that winegrower chooses the variety which will not struggle in his terroir, be it indigenous or international.
  • Neutral vessels. Usually old barrels are being used, be it bariques or bigger casks, amphoras (georgian “qvevries” or spanish “tinajas”), recently also concrete and of course inox vessels. The most important thing here is, that the vessel itself DO NOT change the character of wine by extracting tannins or some other content, present in the wood of new barrel for example.

 

So where are “orange wines” in this story?

Thousands of years ago, man was making white wines using the same technique as for reds. It had all started in the territory of today’s Georgia and Armenia and spread farther towards Europe. Our grand-grand fathers had macerated whites as well. Even with the arrival of “modern” enology, many small or family estates had kept making wine traditional (natural) way, which means that you could have been drinking white macerated wines in Slovenia, Italy and other winemaking regions in seventies and eighties of the past century as well. I remember macerated whites from my summer holidays in Opicina (Trieste) in the eighties. Recently, I was honored by Branko & Vasja Čotar with the tasting of white macerated cuvèe 1980. It was in absolutely “top” condition. This proves that “orange” wine is nothing new, but it also proves that Joško Gravner is not the one, who reintroduced them. There were many others before him, but it is true though, that Joško is doing absolutely perfect job and that he’s the man who put those wines back on world wine map and wine lists of the top restaurants of the world. He once said maceration is amplifier. It means it amplifies faults as well. Bad wine will just become worse with maceration. Personally, I love long skin contact whites. Paolo Vodopivec, Čotar, Mlečnik, Nando, Klinec, Prinčič, Radikon, Terpin, Cornelissen, Elisabetta Foradori, Elena Pantaleoni, Camillo Donati, Daniele Piccinin, Ramaz Nikoladze, Pheasant’ Tears, Iago Bitarishvili … are just some masters of long skin contact white wines, which offer devine pleasures to the lover of such wines.

But …

… it is in no case true that orange / amber wines represent majority of natural wines. You can assure yourself of that very easily, on festivals of natural wines like: VinNaturViniVeriLa Renaissance des AppellationsRAWThe Real Wine Fair . You are invited to visit second festival Label Grand Karakterre, which will be held in Ljubljana castel on November 30 and Westin hotel, Zagreb on December 1.  Top quality white, red, rose, sparkling and also “orange” NATURAL wines will be available for tasting. Marko Kovač and Niko Đukan made very strict criterium for winegrowers already for the first Label Grand Karakterre, held last November in Zagreb. This year we expect about 50 winegrowers from Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary, Austria, Italy, France and maybe even Georgia.  

So, “orange” is …

… often also natural, but it doesn’t need to be so. 

So, natural …

… can also be “orange”, though it is often red, white, rose, sparkling.

 

– Natural red wines: Viret, south Rone; La Stoppa, Emilia Romagna – 

viret_la_stoppa_natiural_wine

 

– Unmacerated Cabernet Sauvignon  (red variety!), Viret, south Rone (Blanc de Noir) – 

blanc_de_noir_viret

 

– Dolia Amphora, Viret, south Rone, 3 and a half months maceration of white varieties in amphoras –

dolia_amphora_amber_viret

 

– Organic Champagne, Laherte, 2005 –

laherte_champagne_2005