Rosé & Orange Wine

Free tasting | Friday, August 3, 2018 | 5-7PM

This complimentary tasting is a little preview of our upcoming ‘Skin Contact’ class on August 19th. So let’s talk skin contact and start from the beginning. ‘Skin contact’ is the contact of grape skins on juice after grapes are pressed to make wine. Grape pulp is typically white or clear, and the color of grape skins (the wine’s dye) range in color but can be categorized into red grapes or white grapes. 
A rosé is typically made from red wine grapes after separating the juice from the skins (which is a wine’s dye). Removing the red skins from the juice before the wine turns red makes it rosé. Making rosé is essentially the same process as making white wine but using red grapes, even though there are exceptions (just like there always are in the world of wine) and rosé can also sometimes be made using white grapes like Pinot Grigio due to the pinkish-grey skins of the grape. We sell a great example of this at the shop – Donkey & Goat Pinot Grigio ‘Ramato’ (Ramato is a northern Italian term for Pinot Grigio rosato). Read more about Ramato from this fantastic article by Lowell Sheldon at

Orange wine is made in a similar process to red wine but using white grapes. Leaving white grape skins (which range in skin color from melon to marmalade) on extracted juice for an extended period of time creates an orangey hue – simply put, orange wine is white wine with extended skin contact. 


Photo credit:  goodeggs.come

Photo credit: goodeggs.come

Photo credit:  Lowell Sheldon

Photo credit: Lowell Sheldon

The line-up!

Subtle is so 2017…go for the bright, cheery amber-hued and salmon pink colored wine! Rosé and orange wine have a few things in common; they are grown worldwide, are great with unusual pairings, and are some of the oldest wines ever created. This tasting will make you reconsider if a depth of pink means that the rosé is sweet or the variance of tasting notes you can find in orange wines. These wines are all delicious and carefree as a summer day!

Rosé on deck:

2017 Poe Rose (California, USA) | Winemaker Samantha Sheehan’s has the same philosophy for winemaking and dating men: you have to let grapes and men be who they are. Do not date fixer-uppers or try to use badly tending grapes for winemaking…neither end well! On that note, Samantha only uses grapes from organic vineyards and has a minimal intervention policy with winemaking. This blend of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier were hand harvested at night, lightly pressed in the morning, and fermented in stainless steel tanks. It has notes of rose petals, apricot, and strawberries.

2017 Victor Hugo ‘Les Mis’ (California, USA) | This blend of Merlot, Syrah, Zinfandel, and Malbec is the opposite of its darkly French novel about social class namesake, Les Misérables. It has a lush and voluptuous body with notes of wild strawberries and lavender. Winemaker Victor Hugo Roberts has been making wine in Paso Robles since 1985. Thisrosé was hand harvested and cold soaked before being barreled in seasoned barrels for fermentation.  

2017 Pietregiovani Negroamaro Rosato (Puglia, Italy) | Young winemaker Fabio Pietrogiovanni’s ambition is to change the way you think about wine from ‘the heel of Italy’ aka Puglia! It’s the flattest region in Italy and because some larger wine growing cooperatives have settled there the reputation for artisanal terroir driven wine has suffered. Fabio’s organic and small production winery is the opposite of that! This rosé is from the grape Negroamaro and after being hand harvested and fermented in steel tanks it has a soft, round body with notes of blackberries and raspberries.

Orange on the line:

2016 Bruale ‘Rkatsiteli-Mtsvane’ (Kakheti, Georgia) | This tannic treat with spicy kumquats notes is an adventure in itself! This was fermented in a Qvevri (a traditional clay vessel from Georgia that was recently put on UNESCO’s Cultural Heritage List) and then keep on its skins for 6 months.

2017 Kivelstadt Cellars ‘Wayward Son’ (California, USA) | This orange wine is an ode to Jordan ‘Wayward Son’ Kivelstadt who spent years learning winemaking techniques in Argentina, Chile, and Australia. Eventually he made his way back to California to tinker with different grapes grown on the unique terroir in Mendocino. This organic blend of Marsanne and Rousanne was co-fermented on the skins and aged on the less in barrel for 6 months. It’s dry, tangy and spicy with notes of under ripe peaches and tangerines! 

2015 Casale Certosa ‘Convenio’ (Lazio, Italy) | In 2009, brothers Alberto and Fausto took over the biodynamic winery from their Father in Castelli Romani outside of Rome. This wine is a beautiful tangerine hue even though the skins only have half a day of skin contact because the grape, Malvasia, naturally has a golden hue on the vine. After undergoing skin contact it spent a few months aging on its lees before bottling. This wine has savory notes of white flowers and cantaloupe!