by Laura Steiger, Outreach Team
We’re excited to introduce SKINS, a refreshing new wine from Field Recordings.
SKINS is an “orange wine,” which is a wine trend that has been sweeping the country of late.
Wine drinkers are adopting orange wine as a new member of the classic wine family of white, red, and rosé wines.
Photos courtesy of Field Recordings
It’s not what you think!
Vintners aren’t using orange skins in the wine. Rather, orange wine refers to the lovely orange hue that develops from fermenting the juice of white wine grapes with their skins and seeds.
Formerly known as skin-contact or skin-fermented wines, the term “orange wine” was popularized by a British wine importer in the early 2000s.
In most white wine production, grape skins and seeds are removed prior to fermentation to yield the clear finish associated with white wine. This is in contrast to red wine production, in which macerated grapes are fermented, along with skins and seeds, for varied lengths of time to yield the desired hue and flavor profile.
Unsurprisingly, rosé wines are produced simply by shortening the period of contact with skins and seeds.
What’s Old is New Again
Skin-fermenting white wines is an ancient technique practiced for thousands of years, and was still common in Italy, and elsewhere, as recently as the 1960s until clear white wines began to dominate the market.
In The New York Times, Eric Asimov wrote—“Orange wines may seem trendy, like a hipster fashion that bewitches bargoers from London to Tokyo. That view would not be unreasonable, given the 20-year trajectory of modern orange wines.
“But wines made like this are the oldest form of whites, stretching back centuries if not millenniums. In some parts of the world, like the Republic of Georgia, white wine never stopped being made this way, despite formidable political and cultural pressure during the years of Soviet domination to adopt more conventional methods of mass production.”
SKINS Flavor Profile
The aroma and palate of orange wine is more robust than white wines, similar to the contrast between a red and a rosé.
"a rarity not to be missed"
Kingston Wine Co. tasting notes—
“All the grapes are given a period of skin contact for a mild level of tannin to pair with the stonefruit and citrus peel notes. The wine is an ideal springtime sipper, great with grilled food and spicy dishes. Domestic orange wine for this price is a rarity not to be missed.”
Description—Golden in the glass with flecks of orange. Honey, stone, and white flowers with notes of apricot, Haitian orange and marzipan. Refreshing, chewy, with good complexity and depth.
Blend—50% chenin blac, 24% Riesling, 15% pinot gris
Appellation—Central California Coast
Vineyards—Martin Brothers, Zabala, Greengate
Fermentation—White grapes destemmed and left on skins from 61 to 89 days
Elevage—Aged 6 months in 100% acacia barrels
Notes from Tim Johnson, Cordata Wine Head
A fun, user-friendly introduction to orange wine (or skin-contact white wine) made from Chenin Blanc, Riesling, and Pinot Gris. It's dry, fairly rich, and has a pleasant tart-chewiness on the palate.
Expect notes of pineapple, apricot, honeysuckle, satsuma, papaya, sea salt, passion fruit, marzipan, and a whiff of curry.
- Thai cuisine (not too spicy)
- Dried fruit and almonds
Recognition for SKINS
“Skins is one of our personal favorites and a wine that has exploded beyond our expectations. We doubled production this year, and will be doubling again next year,” said Kayla Missman of Field Recordings.
Field Recordings SKINS was selected as Best Overall Orange Wine
Field Recordings SKINS was selected as Best Overall Orange Wine in The 7 Best Orange Wines to Drink in 2020, written by Celine Bossart.
In her review, Bossart wrote: “Eric Hsu, co-founder of Coast and Valley wine bar in Brooklyn, is partial to this Californian blend of Chenin Blanc, Riesling, and Pinot Gris. ‘Winemaker Andrew Jones has been killing it in Paso Robles since 2007 with single vineyard site wines showcasing a sense of place and personality,’ he says. ‘And with a wine with an as-clear-as-it-gets name called SKINS, Andrew claims it'll make anyone a believer in non-red wine. Honey and white flowers with notes of apricot and orange make this wine incredibly fun and crushable’ Jones recommends pairing this award-winning wine with some funky cheese, like a bleu, or a hearty duck sausage.”
About Field Recordings
“We are a minimal intervention, vineyard-driven winery. Our winemaker, Andrew Jones, has spent years planning and planting vineyards throughout the Central Coast, and has built up personal relationships with many of the owners.
"We trust the growers’ instincts and knowledge when it comes to their grapes, and we prefer a simpler winemaking process.”
—Kayla Missman of Field Recordings