By James Atkinson

The increasing use of the term 'Orange wine' to describe white wines made with extended skin contact has drawn the ire of wine producers from Orange in New South Wales.

Printhie Wines winemaker Drew Tuckwell sparked an online debate with his comments that the term 'Orange wine' should be reserved for the Australian wine region.

"We in the Orange region are trying to influence wine promoters, media, hospitality to adopt the term ‘amber’ for skin contact white wines as there is no region in the wine world called ‘amber’ but there is one called ‘Orange’ and we would like to limit consumer confusion," Tuckwell said.

"After all, we no longer make Champagne, Chablis or Claret in Australia and Orange wine, protected by GI law in Australia, can only come from the Orange Region."

His view was met with little sympathy from wine pundits on Twitter with Wine Front's Gary Walsh labelling it "a storm in a teacup".

"It makes you look backwards, rather than progressive," Walsh told Tuckwell.

The Printhie winemaker responded: "If you had your money invested in the Orange region then it would be no storm in a teacup to you. Are the Europeans backward?"

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

Join the Conversation


  1. This is pretty simple. Wine language (or any language for that matter) should be clear and concise. We should avoid dual meanings in a language as it only leads to confusion (think the 3 stooges who’s on first routine). Orange is a region and an exciting one currently enjoying a real boom in interest as their vineyards start to reach maturity. Similarly, there is a bubble of interest in skin contacted white wines. Mr Tuckwell’s idea is just commonsense (mind you, a friend once told me that commonsense aint that common). Call them amber wines.Cheers,

  2. Gary Walsh is correct and the number of people interested in either orange or Orange wine are few and far between.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *