Passionately produced by small, family owned wineries, orange wines are now exclusively available in Singapore, thanks to Dellarosa Wines.
“Like red and white wines, orange wines have many variations. One can expect plenty of mouth-gripping tannins and honeyed aroma with every sip. It can be paired with roasts, cheeses, even fermented foods like Japanese miso, Korean kimchi and Indonesian tempeh.”
Contrary to popular belief, orange wines do not contain any citrus fruits. Also known as ‘skin-contact wine’, orange wine earns its name from its colour, which is attained through natural means and prolonged maceration of white wines. Now available at Dellarosa Wine, these artisanal, organic, biodynamic and natural wines provide a healthier, chemical-free option for vino lovers in Asia.
An Ancient Tradition
With ancient origins from the Caucasus, orange wine were already documented in Renaissance paintings, where people’s wine glasses were filled with citrus colours instead of transparent whites.
Traditionally, wine was vinified naturally. Besides minimal intervention, no additives are included during the winemaking process. Using organically farmed grapes, the grape juice and skins are immediately separated when white wine is made.
In particular, the skins are left on for orange wine to create different colours and flavour profiles. As a result of using unfiltered fermented grapes, it tastes different from a white wine. This is ideal for wine lovers to try something different, which combines the richness of reds and the freshness of whites.
A Gourmet Pleasure
Like red and white wines, orange wines have many variations. One can expect plenty of mouth-gripping tannins and honeyed aroma with every sip. It can be paired with roasts, cheeses, even fermented foods like Japanese miso, Korean kimchi and Indonesian tempeh.
Exclusively available in Singapore, orange wines can also be found in fine dining establishments like Odette, Pollen and Salt & Grill Sky Bar.
Saharay, Porta del Vento (2015)
Sourced from a small and dedicated producer in Sicily, Saharay is the more mature Catarratto from Porta del Vento. The grapes are cultivated in a wide valley at 600 metres above sea levels on the hills of Camporeale. They are also handpicked and fermented on their skins in open vats, and without the addition of sulphites for 30 days.
On the nose, the Sahary has hints of almond and apricot. In the mouth, one can savour its sweet spices. Spotting a golden-yellow colour, it offers a dynamic palate, great sapidity and tannin.
Lunar, Movia (2013)
Amber in color and of medium intensity, the award-winning Lunar is the healthiest and purest Slovenian orange wine. Without added sulphur, one can taste pure nature in a wine glass.
Biodynamically farmed and naturally vinified, it is manually harvested from 65-year-old ribolla vines. Custom-made barriques then allow the wine to ferment, age, and stabilize completely on its own without pressing the grapes. After seven months, only the free-flowing wine is bottled without filtration, and allowed to refine before being released.
With plenty of character and a fine, long aftertaste, the wine is dry, elegant, and a little bitterish. Yet, the grape notes on the nose are overcome by a fine note of wood. To fully enjoy the Luna, it must be decanted to experience its honeyed sourness and nuttiness.
Genuine Passion For Wine
Fascinated by Asia’s cultural dynamism and vibrancy, Quintino Dellarosa, Founder of Dellarosa Wine, aims to bring quality wines at more affordable prices to countries like Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand.
As an advocate for sustainable viticulture, he champions wine-making processes that involve the least possible human or mechanical intervention from vineyard to cellar. To dive into his genuine passion for wine, Doyenne.sg asks the vivacious Italian a few quick fire questions about orange wines.
Doyenne.sg: How much do you drink in a week?
Quintino: I drink a glass almost everyday. There are so many occasions to drink wine! Generally, I believe we should simply free ourselves from any preconception when we drink, especially orange wine.
D: How does wine weave into Italy’s social fabric?
Q: Wine is culture in Italy. It is served during the all important Sunday family lunch. Depending on the area you are in, you can find red or white wines produced by different methods. Each Italian region has its own range of typical grapes.
D: How can wine win hearts and minds in Asia?
Q: Wine is the expression of culture, tradition and hard work. I believe these are values shared in Asia. When we talk about the region and their winemakers, everyone is always interested.
Recently, I met a wine importer from Ulan Bator and we discussed how wine is becoming popular in Mongolia. It was such an amazing moment for me to talk about wine, with someone from such an exotic place, for an Italian like me.
D: What’s special about these boutique wine producers you work with?
Q: With small, family owned wineries, it is always great to hear them share their history, their love for their land and how they produce their wine.
These winemakers make the choice of quality over quantity, of sustainability over maximization of profit. It requires true knowledge of nature to care for vines without the use of chemicals.
We are always in awe of these humble artisans who produce wonderful wines. We want to continue promoting their passion and hard work, and bring them to all part of Asia.