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Nov Advocate 2017

848 THE ADVOCATE VOL. 75 PART 6 NOVEMBER 2017 Other areas where producers are experimenting with natural winemaking and orange wine techniques are the State of New York, Australia (usually with Sauvignon Blanc) and Austria. When we were in South Africa last year we found examples there, mostly from the Swartland region in the Western Cape. And of course, as noted, the tradition has been revitalized in Georgia, where the most famous modern version is named Pheasant’s Tears (as a traditional story is that only the best wines can make a pheasant cry—although why one would feed good wine to pheasants remains a mystery to me. Perhaps it saves on preparing a sauce after returning from a day of shooting? – Ed.) These wines are fermented in clay kvevri that are lined with beeswax and sunk into the ground and use natural yeast fermentations. And, as can be seen from the wines below, the style has recently become more popular here in B.C. So will these wines ever be more than cultish? Will wineries keep producing them? If so, why? Anna Lee C. Iijima, in an article appearing in Wine Enthusiast, provided the following account: … J. Christopher Tracy, partner and winemaker at Channing Daughters Winery on Long Island, New York, began experimenting with skin - fermented white wines in 2004. “Before there was even an orange wine category in the U.S.,” he says. … “In our tasting room, often these are love-it-or-hate-it sort of wines,” he says. “But what’s interesting is how often people who think they don’t like white wines fall in love with the structure, the tannin and the mouthfeel—the red wine experience that these white wines can provide. You’re never going to find them at discount prices at large retail stores,” Tracy says, “because they’re simply not made at that scale. That’s what will always keep things niche.” As for whether these wines are a fading trend, “They’ve been around for thousands of years,” he says. “They may come in and out of favor, but they’re not going anywhere. These wines bring too much to the table. They taste too damn good to go away.”3 These wines are not for everyone, just as sour beer is not for every beer drinker (many orange wines have much in common with the aromas and flavours of that beer style), but they are an interesting re-addition to the wine panoply. Those that are naturally made without additives, filtration or other tools of modern winemaking must be handled with care. They cannot be bought and consumed immediately or they will be cloudy, yeasty and harsh. They need time to settle after being moved from store to home in order to clarify. (This is actually good advice with any wine given most are bought and consumed the same evening.) When serving, first chill them upright overnight and, again like red wine, decant them off the lees. They are also mostly food wines and not patio sip-


Nov Advocate 2017
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