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Orange wine: hipster trend or global phenomenon?

Orange wine could be the key to seduce a new generation of wine drinkers. That’s why the Global Wine Masters are qvevri happy to introduce their inaugural competition dedicated to orange wines, accepting entries until 28 June.

Consumption of alcohol is decreasing, especially among younger generations, and wine is no exception. But Gen Z drinkers seem willing to explore and discover new wines rather than sticking to their favourite, opening the door to off the beaten track wines that might have been left behind, such as orange wines. Could this category be the one that help save the industry?

Orange wine is nothing new – if anything, it is a true success story that started about 5,000 years ago. From qvevri amphora fermentation in Georgia thousands of years ago, to becoming an essential on the shelves of any East London wine bar, orange wine seem to have reinvented itself, and its popularity keeps rising – to the point it is no longer just a hipster trend.

There is so much education and history that surround this category and can pique the curiosity of wine enthusiasts.

For instance, orange wine has nothing to do with the fruit: the colour comes from an ancient winemaking technique consisting in leaving the white grapes macerate on their skins for an extended amount of time (hence the “skin contact” term often used to describe the wines) before pressing them – something typically reserved to red wine production.

Skin contact gives the resulting wine distinctive aromas such as bruised apple or dried apricot, and a denser texture than traditional whites, with some tannic structure while retaining a high acidity.

Georgia is not the only orange wine producer – in the 1990s, North-East Italy, with historic producers such as Gravner or Radikon, developed a reputation for orange wines too, and it is now safe to say that amber wine has conquered the world and is produced in a myriad of countries and styles.

This singular but diverse category of wine deserves a competition on its own, which is why the Global Wine Masters are excited to launch the first Global Orange Wine Masters competition this summer.

As always, each entry will be blind tasted by a panel of expert judges comprised of Masters of Wine, Master Sommeliers and senior buyers. Entries are open for another five weeks, to any skin contact, orange or amber wine from anywhere in the world. Results will be published in the July issue of the drinks business magazine and online.

Entries cost £159 ex VAT
For more information contact:

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