AGAZZANO — This village in the northern Italian province of Piacenza is tucked between the hills. The locality is celebrated primarily for its castle, a complex that represents an incredible synthesis between defensive medieval architecture and the elegant, ladylike mansions of the Renaissance. And the beautiful interior of the Castle of Agazzano is the perfect location for a Dec. 9-10 celebration for a delicacy that is its own splendid form of synthesis.
If you've never seen or tasted it, "Orange Wine" is a kind of white wine prepared according to an ancient tradition that makes it a very particular color (not the fruit!) that is the source of its name. For many years, in fact, natural winemakers with a passion for tradition have brought a fourth color back to the table. One can now find wines made from white grapes that take on a thousand shades of orange: from amber to bright orange, to bronze. This particularity is due to extended contact of the grape first with the must of the wine, and then with the wine itself. The processing is the same classic vinification used for red wines: grape skins release the substance contained inside, making the wine more complex and intriguing to both the nose and mouth—and it is the peel that allows the expression of the true identity of the wine.
It's also stuck around in Georgia.
The event, entitled "Orange Wine: The New Color of White," will feature some 50 winemakers who use organic or biodynamic farming and vinify their grapes using traditional methods. It is a unique opportunity for all lovers of wine, scents, and unusual flavors. The roots of Orange wine trace back centuries when the maceration of white wineskin was a peasant tradition that almost disappeared with the advent of new wine machinery that allows the almost immediate removal of the peels.
But it's stuck around in Georgia, considered the "cradle of wine," and in the Italian countryside where peasant traditions have persisted in such regions as Friuli Venezia Giulia, Emilia Romagna, Veneto and Liguria. And how does Orange wine taste? It has a freshness and a toasty low acidity and often, yes, even a hint of citrus.