You may have heard about the trendy “orange wine” taking natural wine bars by storm, but what is it, and mostly importantly, is it good? Orange wine is NOT made of oranges, nor is it a cocktail using orange juice and wine. Orange wine is a white wine that has been fermented with grape skins and seeds, left in contact with the juice long enough to imbue the finished wine with a beautiful orange or amber color. They are vinified using the process for red wines, macerating the grapes on their skins. A longer time on the skins gives these wines more red-wine characteristics, such as body and tannins, while maintaining the character and acidity of a white wine. Orange is one of the many colors of these “skin contact” wines, and any white grape can be used to make orange wine.
Orange wine has become a growing category over the past several years and can be found from many countries around the world. Orange wines are generally considered to be “natural wines,” usually grown organically or Biodynamically, produced with minimal intervention. Most orange winemakers use only native yeast (no inoculation) and little or no additives such as sulfites. Orange wines also tend to be lower in alcohol and light in body. Depending on the time on the skins and the fermentation process, orange wines can be light and fruity, oxidized (nutty or cooked fruit flavors), sour (like a sour beer), or bold and complex. The best orange wines show the true characteristics of the white grape being used and keep the funky smells and sour flavor profiles to a subtle background.
Produced in partnership with three small family owned vineyards, Biokult Naken is a unique creative project of our winery partner Biokult, in the Burgenland region of Austria. All biokult vintners are obliged to certified organic production, environmental protection, biodiversity, and the promotion of healthy soils in their vineyards. Abstinence from artificial fertilizers and stabilizers guarantee unadulterated enjoyment.
Biokult wines are also Demeter certified Biodynamic. Biodynamic farming works in harmony with natural ecosystems to preserve and protect life’s diversity and species for future generations. This comprehensive organic farming method requires the creation and management of a closed system. Farmers must be minimally dependent on imported materials, meeting all needs with the living dynamics of the farm itself. This self-contained farm is the ultimate model of sustainability and environmental preservation.
Biodynamic methods develop the vineyard’s greatest potential. Healthier soil produces outstanding quality grapes and their resulting wines capture the true essence of the winery’s terroir, creating a “taste of place,” and a delightful glass of wine.
Pinot Gris is grown throughout the world, known also in Austria as Grauburgunder and Rulander. Pinot Gris produces soft, dry wines with medium acidity. Floral aromas of white flowers along with creamy green apple and citrus notes, follow with a crisp, clean finish. According to AustrianWines.com, “Pinot Gris was brought from Burgundy to Austria in the 13th or 14th century by Cistercian monks – which is why the variety once was referred to as the Grauer Mönch, or gray monk. The grape made its way to Germany from Burgundy or Champagne and in 1711, it was found in a vineyard – which no longer exists – by businessman Johann Seger Ruland from Speyer. From there, the variety was planted under the name of Rulander.”
Muskateller is one of the world’s most ancient grape varieties, believing to have originated from the Mediterranean region. The grape has been grown across the globe and is the lively and spicy representative of the Muskat family. The origins of Muskat are unknown, but possibly from Italy or Greece, where you can still find Muskat varieties today (such as Moscato in Italy). The grapes are medium, loose to dense round berries. It grows best in warm, airy sites. The grape delivers wines with a more or less intense nutmeg aroma and flavor. The resulting wine is a rarity with a well balanced bouquet and a pronounced character with sufficient acidity.
Naken is a high-quality, hand-crafted organic and Biodynamic orange wine, vinified by female winemaker Angela Michlits and her husband Werner: “Organic wines represent the most authentic origin. Protecting the earth from the use of all chemicals should be a priority to hand down to future generations. It is a great challenge for us to continue the natural way of production in the cellar as well – winemaking and winegrowing has to be one unit!”
Naken (the word for naked in Swedish, referring to Biokult’s “naked” production methods for the wine)
Dry farmed wine without any irrigation
Natural wine with low content of SO2
Wild yeast fermentation – no inoculation
Without filtration, can contain slight deposit of sediments and/or crystals
No additions, no treatments
<2.5 bars of pressure (bubbles)-slight natural CO2 from fermentation
Biokult Naken Orange Wine Production
Following historic traditions, the grapes are processed as they would be for red wine, fermented on the skins for 5-10 days. The result is a beautiful and delicate orange-rosé color with a higher concentration of tannins and structure along with a creamy body style. The wine’s tart acidity and bright citrus flavors combine for an energetic glass dripping with juicy grape goodness. The wine’s acidity works alongside lighter entrees, while its tannic structure stands up to bolder dishes.
Biokult follows low intervention principals in wine making, with spontaneous fermentation from indigenous yeast and natural malolactic fermentation. The wine has a small content of CO2 remaining after fermentation that keeps the wine fresh and adds a slight natural effervescence to the wine that also protects against aging. Naken is sealed with a crown cap to keep in the natural goodness. This wine is unfiltered and may contain natural sediments. At 10.5% ABV, Naken is quite quaffable and a perfect match for a sunny day or a great meal with friends.