Orange wine! Why this year's trendiest wine is... orange:

Drink produced by leaving grape skins in their juice finding favour among experts as it can accompany several different dishes

  • Forget rosé - an 'orange' wine is set to be this summer's hottest tipple

  • The plonk made from leaving grape skins in juice for a few days or weeks

  • It is said to have a richer, more complex flavour than regular white wine

The peculiar plonk - which is made from leaving grape skins in juice for a few days or weeks rather than removing it immediately - is fast becoming a favourite among wine buffs and foodies after hitting shelves in the UK.

Said to have a richer, more complex flavour than regular white, orange wine uses ancient methods whereby wines were fermented naturally in clay pots with their skins on at unregulated temperatures.

The technique dates back to 8,000 BC and was the main way of making wine up until the mid 20th century when modern production methods took over, whereby grape juice and skins are immediately separated.

But now the forgotten wine is making a comeback after a handful of winemakers began producing it in limited quantities, leading to bottles trickling onto wine lists of top London restaurants and onto supermarket shelves.

Leaving the grape skins in the juice not only imparts colour but also more flavour and tannins.

As well as its unusual colour, orange wine also has a surprising flavour that has divided critics and wine fans alike.

Wine expert Amelia Singer, from ITV's The Wine Show, said shoppers could expect to see more orange wine this summer as its popularity soars.

She said: 'Orange wine is becoming more and more popular for several reasons.

'Firstly people are increasingly interested in where their food comes from, and this naturally influences what wines they drink.

'Orange wine is made in a natural way with little or no additives such as sulphur. Some are even unfiltered. It's the way the Romans and Grecians made it so it's got a historical element to it too.

'Secondly it's about food trends. At the moment there is a real trend for tapas-style dishes and sharing platters, and that means people want a wine that can accompany lots of different flavours.

'Where orange wine is this weird hybrid wine that is technically white but made like a red, it goes with lots of different foods.

'Finally people are becoming more adventurous, especially the younger generations. They're less put off by what their wines look like, and more willing to try something new.

'Orange wine is quite rare but it's gaining popularity. It is never going to be mass produced or cheap but I expect we will be seeing much more of it on menus and in supermarkets as people catch on to it.'

English winemaker Chapel Down is among the producers who are helping resurrect orange wine. They launched the country's first orange wine, made from Bacchus grapes grown at their Kent vineyards, last year.

Josh Donaghay-Spire, winemaker at Chapel Down, said: 'The reason we decided to make an orange wine was to explore the possibilities of our Bacchus grapes.

'We still don't know the full extent of their capabilities and so we're always experimenting. People are always looking for something a bit different in wine and this certainly ticks that box.

'Usually in white wine grapes are pressed and the skins are discarded but with orange wine the skins are left in for a bit to impart a bit of colour and flavour.

'We're a modern winery making modern wines but that doesn't mean we can't make wines the way it was done thousands of years ago too.

'The taste is smoky and it has a texture to it too. The volume of orange wine we make is small in comparison to the rest of our wine but the reaction to it has been brilliant.

'It is a unique style of white wine with an interesting tannic edge that is rarely found in white wine and this can split opinion with wine drinkers..'

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