Skin-contact wines are white wines made like red wines.
The production of skin-contact wines is a relatively recent development in the wine industry. White wines made like red wines are usually made by blending white wine with red wine which gives you rosé, but skin-contact wines are created when white wine grapes are actually pressed and fermented against the skins.
The wines colour then comes from the longer the juice is left to ferment with the skins. Maceration can cause wines to become darker than the average white bottling. This is why they are often referred to as orange wines, though not all skin-contact wines are orange in colour. Hence the name 'skin contact wine' was coined instead of 'orange wine".
Some winemakers choose to make skin-contact wines because they find that they capture more of the fruit's character and flavour. Others believe that the addition of the grape skins helps to create a more complex wine. We find both of these reasons to be correct and after tasting the wines we have to show you we think you might agree.
The first group were looking at is Yūgen wines. "Yūgen" is a Japanese word describing an overwhelming awe at the beauty of nature and the universe. This ideology is followed throughout their entire winemaking process from growing and picking all the way through to bottling and fermenting.
A skin-contact Pét-Nat with a little neutral oak aging. Gorgeous straw colour with a bit of grip & a bit of spritz, and musky floral notes to savour.
A fruity-funky skin-contact field blend that's made with a great deal of respect for natural processes - field blend, wild yeast, skin contact, unfiltered, with a good amount of time on lees. The easygoing result is a perfect example of the growing category of minimal-intervention skin-contact wines.
Victorian Pinot Gris stars in a skin-contact context here, with two weeks on skins turning up the spicy Turkish-delight notes and plenty of citrus acidity for a lusciously full-bodied experience.
Next we have a semillon-riesling blended skin contact white that is coming out of the Barossa region and causing quite a stir. Entirely organic and biodynamic Whistler wines young-gun approach to winemaking has been a huge hit and their skin contact wine is a prime example of why.
This “Back To Basics” skin-contact wine, a semillon-riesling blend, is funky and cloudy, with fresh apple-juice, green characters and an intriguing raspberry-lolly note. Unrefined, unfiltered, and vegan, it’s a gloriously unmediated conversation with the grape and the terroir and best enjoyed slightly chilled with friends.
Next we have a bubbly Adelaide Hills Pet Nat for you. Tropo is a Unico Zelo's range of fun, fresh, & "smashable" wines. They create minimal-intervention wines combining Italian styles with Australian regional expertise and a minimal-intervention approach to providing amazing wines.
Primarily from white grapes with a little merlot added off skins, it's fresh and funky in that inimitable pét-nat way and perfectly suited to the great outdoors.
Whilst this last wine on our list is more so a Pinot Gris, and is only %25 skin contact wine, we felt it deserved a spot. Focusing on the terroir of individual sites Mullen and Hine (both of extensive Aussie winemaking pedigree) create simplistic to the point wine which they reflect in their minimalistic copy and label. By doing so they are showing drinkers with confidence that the sites they use can speak for themselves.
Just "GRIS", just Gris, just drink - single vineyard, three fermentations, one tasty textured PG. As natural as they come.
When it comes to wine, many think about the grape variety, the place of origin, and how long the wine has been aged. But what about skin contact? In recent years, more and more wines have been released with this contact method, as it allows wines to express their unique flavours in an exciting new way.
These six amazing new skin contact wines have all been added to our store with many more on the horizon. Regardless of your opinion on this method, there are definitely some amazing new skin contact wines out there that you should check out.