20th March, 2017 by Arabella Mileham
Romanian wine producer Cramele Recaș has launched its first orange wines, which will be sold into the UK, Dutch and Danish markets.
The new orange wine, which debuts at ProWein this year, has a distribution run of around 7,500 bottles and will be marketed under the winery’s Sole range and distributed in the UK by Copestick Murray.
Created by winemakers Hartley Smithers and Nora Iriate, the 100% Chardonnay orange wine gets its distinctive dark straw and orange shade from macerating 50% of the de-stemmed crushed grapes in juice for three weeks, before blending it with half the grapes that have undergone carbonic maceration with no added yeast.
The “complex and structured” wine bears “attractively nutty notes within a refreshingly crisp and mineral texture”, the company said.
Philip Cox, commercial director of Cramele Recaș said he was excited about the new wine, which was made in response to consumer demand.
‘Orange wine is increasingly popular within certain circles in the wine world, and we believe that this winemaking philosophy which will continue to gain momentum and indeed plaudits in the coming months.”
Romania’s largest winery was set up by Cox in 1998 but now produces an annual production of around 13 million bottles. As well as being a major player in its own domestic market, it sells over two million bottles a year in the UK. Cox said the UK had been the fastest growing export market for Romanian wine in the last five years, and he was expecting a 10% growth on its record 2015 year.
Orange wine has been increasing in diversity and availability on the UK market in recent years, and with Doug Wregg of natural, organic and biodynamic wine specialist importer Les Caves de Pyrene told db in December that his company now imports as many as 100 orange – or ‘skin contact’ – wines into the UK. Orange wine has found its way on to the wine list of The Ritz, courtesy of its head sommelier Giovanni Ferlito, and English wine producer Chapel Down releasing its first commercial English orange wine in 2015, along with English wine consultancy and contract winemaker, Litmus Wines.
The organiser of RAW wine natural and artisan wine show, Isabelle Legeron MW recently told db the trend for skin-contact wine was set to “take off” this year.