Skin fermented white wines, or orange wines, are made from white or pink grape varieties fermented in contact with the grape skins. In order to be certified by VQA, the wine must be fermented on skins for a minimum of 10 days. Due to the skin contact fermentation, orange wines have more tannin and often feature herbal notes and tea-like characteristics.
Common varieties used for Skin-fermented white wines include Vidal Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and Gewürztraminer.
VQA Ontario Regulation Overview:
- In 2017, VQA Ontario was the second in the world to create a Skin Fermented White category
- 100% of grapes used must be macerated and fermented on their skins for a minimum of 10 days
- Intent to produce must be declared by November of that harvest year
- Must be a table wine or effervescent wine produced entirely from fresh grapes of white or pink varietals
- As of 2020, 10 Ontario wineries are producing VQA Skin Fermented Whites, with 13 different SKUs produced.