What the Heck is Off White?
The emergence of the Natural Wine movement in Australia brought with it a category that was virtually non-existent in the country: Orange Wine. Over the last 10 years or so, it's become one of the fastest-growing categories in the country, some sweeping the country by storm. With early adopters setting the pace like Tom Shobbrook with Giallo, Abel Gibson with Ruggabellus charging with what some claim to be some of the countries finest, and BK Wines and his incredible Skin & Bones Savagnin. Now it seems that it's almost a requirement to have one in your portfolio, some kind of skinsy something or rather. Orange wine has cemented it's place all over the world as a singular and expressive wine style.
There is a problem in Australia: We can't call it Orange Wine. The rest of the world has locked in and the hive mind has deemed it the chosen name of the category. The rest of the world doesn't have a wine region called Orange. Yep, that little town based in regional NSW.
Now don't get it twisted - they're making some ripping wines out of Orange. Producers like Gilbert, Swinging Bridge, Frankly Bob - some of them are even making Orange wine! But to avoid confusion, we cannot use the term 'orange wine' to describe skin-fermented white grapes from Australia - which is only confusing to the rest of the world.
Now, we love wine from Orange NSW - we love orange wine from Orange, but when we're showing Esoterico to people in America, the inevitable question is always "Is this an orange wine?" - then the answer starts getting complicated. We start moving towards Amber Wine - which is a bit more vague - and then Skin Contact White Wine, which is not only even vaguer, it's a mouthful.
So, in a cheeky little nod to the multitude of names that we have not decided upon to define one of the fastest-growing wine categories in Australia, we thought we'd have a crack at coming up with one ourselves: Off White - a perfect name for our brand new wine for our Funkworks label (and a cheeky dig at Virgil Abloh's luxury fashion label).
Now we can't say that this was the ORIGINAL intention for the wine - the wine was actually intended to be a Pet Nat. The idea was to make this skinsy Fiano base orange wine and dose it with some fresh Zibbibo juice to make it fizzy. But after we made the base wine, we thought it tasted so good we should just make it into its own wine! (plus we could use the precious Zibibbo for Esoterico...) Pet Nat fans, stay tuned, we've got something coming for you soon...
It's a pretty no-frills skinsy Fiano. 7 days on skins before being pressed into stainless steel and racked to be bottled unfiltered. It's a wine not to be taken too seriously at all, it's just really fun to drink. It's just Off White. If you like Esoterico and you like Dreamers Creed, this is gonna be up your alley. Enjoy gang!