One of the most satisfying things we get to do at the garage giving people their first taste of "orange" wine. While the orange wine movement is often attributed to the so-called "hipster" wine movement, it's actually an OG winemaking technique that is thousands of years old.
First thing's first, these wines aren't made from oranges, they are made from grapes. The term "orange" wine comes from the warmer hues of color extracted through skin-contact during fermentation. And having made several of these wines over the past 6 years, the color can range from dark yellow to Sunkist soda orange and dark copper.
So why is it orange? Good question. But let's start by talking about red wine. The reason red wines are indeed red in color is that we press red grapes and let the juice sit on the red grape skins for a certain amount of time, where they extract color. Now with white wines, traditionally we pick white grapes and only let the juice and the grape skins have limited contact to preserve lighter colors and produce crisper wines. With orange wines, all we do is use white grapes and ferment them like red wine, allowing the white juice to sit on the skins for 5-21 days before the final pressing. This allows the juice to extract color from the white grape skins which typically produce a darker, oranger wine.
See, not that complicated. But we think these wines are due a little more credit. Firstly, the wine is fucking ORANGE in color. How cool is that? Secondly, we find that our orange wines have these amazing tropical and floral aromas unlike any we have smelled in traditional white wines. The flavors get even more interesting, creating richer wines with tastes ranging from banana laughy-taffy to creamsicle and pineapple. We've worked with several varieties like Vermentino, Chardonnay, Verdelho, Trousseau Gris, and Bourboulenc, and continue to find new flavors and textures.
We like to think of our orange wines as more versatile cousins to Rosé. Orange wines pair well with everything from sushi, to curries, and dessert. We like to serve them chilled, but they can also show more complexity at room temperature. Frankly, we're surprised more wineries don't make them.
Lastly, there's a little bit of a debate whether orange wines deserve their own category of classification versus just saying they are skin-fermented white wines. Honestly? Who gives a fuck. Just enjoy 'em for what they are: delicious wines.
If you’ve been following along, our love for Spanish Rioja is no secret and Tempranillo is something we just can’t quit. It's full in body, with the perfect amount of tannin and juicy red fruit flavors. Our 2019 SRR Red Wine brings Tempranillo together with Graciano, adding deep, dark color and beautiful aromatics that make the wine a knockout pairing for your next dinner.
This Chorizo and Potatoes recipe takes SRR to the next level and brings out some really amazing savory qualities in the wine. Snag a few bottles for your next night in and score $1 shipping on a 3+ bottles of SRR with code: CHORIZO at checkout through 9/21.
1 med Yellow Onion, small dice
12 oz Pork Chorizo
3-4 med Yukon Gold Potatoes, large dice
2 tbs Garlic, minced
2 cups Arugula, loosely packed
Olive Oil, as needed
Salt & Pepper, as needed
In a large bowl, toss diced potatoes with 1-2 tbs of olive oil to coat and season with salt and pepper.
Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat and add approximately 2 tbs of olive oil to the pan. When the oil begins to ripple, add onions, season and cook until softened. Add garlic and stir until fragrant. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add a small amount of oil to the pan and bring the heat back up to medium-high. Add pork chorizo to the pan, breaking the meat up into medium chunks. Brown on all sides and stir occasionally until cooked. Deglaze with a bit of water, and scrape the bottom of the pan with a rubber spatula to loosen any brown bits. Add to the garlic and onion mixture and set aside for later.
Bring heat back up to medium and add another tbs of olive oil to the pan. When the oil begins to ripple, add potatoes. Keep your heat at medium-low and stir occasionally until brown and crisp on all sides and the centers are fork-tender. This process typically takes 20-25 minutes.
When the potatoes are finished, add pork and garlic mixture back to the pan and gently stir to combine and re-heat. Just before serving, add arugula, gently stir to combine and season to taste.
Tip: This is a great recipe to cook over the fire on your next camping trip!
Recipe by Grace Coyne
We met Bertus at sunrise on August 11th for our first pick of the 2020 season at Sierra de Montserrat Vineyard in the small town of Loomis, CA. The vineyard crews were already busy at work, making their way through the vines at lightning speed and filling our bins to the brim with Barbera clusters. Fans of Pop-Nat should take notice – those bodacious berries are destined for one hell of a pét-nat that'll be dropping sometime next year. Get excited. 🍾
Since the beginning of August, we've brought in over 40 tons of fruit from across California. With nearly 50 vineyard sources to pick from in 2020, there's much to look forward to on the horizon.
Outdoor tastings are here to stay and we've got the coolest set up in town. Taste through four of our latest and greatest releases under the shade of our brand new tents. Our current lineup includes:
2019 Wasted Love, Rosé Wine, California
2019 The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, Red Wine, Sierra Foothills
2018 Somewhere Out On That Horizon, Red Wine, Mendocino County, Fox Hill Vineyard
2018 Thundercloud, Red Wine, California
We're open 7 days a week from 10 am to 5 pm by reservation only.
In our most exclusive release yet, we're pumping out three brand new reds that are sure to make you swoon:
2019 Marlenas from Reseda, Red Wine, Sierra Foothills
2018 Bring Black Roses, Mixed Blacks, Napa Valley
2019 Money Honey, Red Wine, Mendocino County, Fox Hill Vineyard
These wines are in short supply and MADE members gain first access. Don't miss out on these legendary slated to drop in the next MADE club release on September 21st.
What TGW wine are you currently obsessed with and why?
The 2020 pét-nat, no questions asked. I've never seen a blend like this before and I'm amped. And it's already the first wine of the 2020 vintage in bottle!
What's the most interesting thing you've done/seen this harvest?
There's a puncheon of MV Nebbiolo in the cellar that makes me smile because, while I adore Nebbiolo, I know firsthand how hard it is to grow (especially outside of Piemonte). I've personally thought the best way to be successful with it as a single varietal wine in California is to make it multi-vintage to try and capture a more refined expression... and then I walk in and see exactly that AND in large format cooperage? Hell yeah. Hellllll yeah.
What's your favorite varietal and why?
Chenin Blanc! I love the versatility of this grape. Still or sparkling, sweet or dry, lean or round, drink tonight or cellar for years. It can show lanolin slickness, vibrant orchard fruit, minerality, nuttiness, delicate florals, creaminess. It does it all! My francophile heart will always favor Savennières and brut Vouvray, but I'll drink it from anywhere and everywhere. #TeamSteen
What's your dream?
For all queer people to have safety, love, support, access to affordable, quality healthcare, and to live authentically without fear of persecution and discrimination. (And for people to someday walk into a wine shop and ask for a Christie Basinas import the way they do for Kermit Lynch today.)
What's your favorite band?
Fleetwood Mac. I've got my mom's vintage Rumours album on vinyl and it's one of my prized possessions. Thanks, Ma!
Favorite local restaurant + dish to get?
This is too hard! But I can say that the first dish that popped into my head was Dustin Valette's signature Day Boat Scallops en Croute. I'm a hedonist and can't resist this with a glass of Champagne.
Top 3 songs to listen to right now?
Savage Remix – Megan Thee Stallion ft. Beyoncé
Move Your Body – Sia
Now I'm In It – HAIM
What are you doing when you're not in the cellar?
Singing karaoke, hiking to explore/celebrate NorCal, watching Sonoma Coast sunrises and sunsets, tending to my herb garden, watching a lot of drag, writing poems, going dancing.
We'd be remiss if we didn't show our extreme gratitude to all of the vineyard workers and their families that help make this industry possible. These amazing individuals work relentlessly behind the scenes, even in the face of fires, a pandemic and whatever else nature decides to throw their way. Without them, there wouldn't even be a harvest.
If you'd like to say thank you, please consider donating to the California Farmers Foundation, a non-profit organization that gives back to Farmworkers in California and empowers them to have a voice in their communities. The programs and services provided by this meaningful organization help individuals develop personal and professional skills that help enhance their quality of life.