Clay Amphorae Orange Wine Project – Made with no electricity
Orange wine is an extreme point of view of natural wine making, it is when white wine has some time with skin contact. Traditionally when you make white wine you press the grapes straight away to separate the skins which you would get rid of and ferment the Juice only.
However when making orange wine you leave the skins for an extended period of time, which will then give the wine an orange colour. The skins will also give the wine more of a textural taste with wild fruit flavours like pears, apples, citrus peel and many others.
I used Semillon grapes and rather then press straight away I left the grapes with the skins intact for 6 months. I fermented the grapes in clay amphorae I had an artist make the amphorae like the same dimensions of ancient ones. I am making this wine with no electricity every step of the way like in ancient times, as a green environmental statement and anti modernisation of the wine industry.
After the Artist and I settled on the design of the amphorae, the artist made them using a pottery wheel.
After glazing and firing the amphorae in the kiln, we used beeswax to seal the inside of the clay amphorae so they don’t leak.
Handpicking Semillon. The fruit was ripe and full of flavour. We picked on the 21 st of January 2014, The beaume was 11.8, the TA was 6.2 and the ph3.39
Once back at winery we got straight to work . 7 hours to hand destem ( ripping off stalks by hand ) for what would take 3 minutes in my crusher . Some extra blessings from rabbi G . 78 spiders crawled up my arms, and after saving 104 lady bugs the job was finally done. 160 kg of fruit completely processed by hand with no power. I then hand plunged it for 5 minutes .We now pray it’s starts fermenting and does not turn to vinegar, it’s in the hands of God now.
Wild ferment took 4 days to start, a lot of praying and daily hand punch downs so that it does not all turn to vinegar.
Once fermentation started we put the lids on the amphorae and allowed nature to take it’s course. It took over 4 weeks to finish completely fermenting.
Once fermentation complete and the natural Carbon Dioxide produced during ferment dissipated, we sealed the clay amphorae with beeswax so that the wine doesn’t oxidise. We then left the grapes on skins for another 5 months.
After the 6 months on skins , we called in our Rabbi for some priestly blessings and prayers so the wine will taste good and not have turned to vinegar.
Cutting the beeswax seal. We were a little nervous and unsure what the wine will taste like.
As I was still recovering from a broken leg I could not foot press the grapes, so after 4 hours I hand pressed all the grapes into a stainless tank.
We fed the grape skins after pressing to my cows who loved them, they got a little tipsy after eating them.
Finally my father and Mendel hand bottled the wine and manually corked each one.