Bonny Doon Vineyard (Uncharacteristically) A La Mode, Releases “Le Cigare Orange”

SANTA MARGARITA, Calif., June 30, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — According to Randall Grahm, founder and director of winemaking at Bonny Doon Vineyard, "Bonny Doon Vineyard wines have either been twenty years too early or twenty years too late, but this orange wine is an anachronism and anomaly." The new Bonny Doon Le Cigare Orange seems to hit on something just about right.

Grahm notes that orange wine is of course not made from oranges, but from white (or pink) grapes that have been partially or entirely fermented on their skins. Le Cigare Orange has, in fact, a vivid orange hue.

Orange wines originated thousands of years ago in Georgia. The wines were fermented in Qvevri, or clay pots. The technique is still used today in Georgia and parts of Ukraine (Crimea).

Grahm said he was initially a bit skeptical when it was suggested that Bonny Doon make an orange wine. He protested that orange wine would be "so à la mode," because people are drinking orange wine because they think that’s what they should be doing, "not really thinking about whether they’re actually deriving a molecule of enjoyment from the experience."

There were some technical issues that needed to be addressed, mostly dealing with the question of tannin management, or how to make a wine that is not overly astringent, but still possesses adequate acidity and freshness. The grapes were picked early for lower final alcohol, and a gentle extraction of the skins was achieved through the use of rotary fermenters. A non-saccharomyces yeast pre-inoculation was done to compete (favorably) with spoilage bacteria, obviating the need for an early SO2 addition, a potential source of astringency. The varieties selected, Grenache Gris and Grenache Blanc, are both moderate in tannin (and consistent with BDV’s Rhônish obsession). It could only be called one thing:  Le Cigare Orange.

Grahm concludes, "I’m grateful to winemaker Nicole Walsh and the Bonny Doon team for pushing me into this new and unexpected (orange) space" and for the unexpected pleasure of arriving on time (for once). "And it’s a nice touch," said Grahm, "that we were able to release the new wine just in time for National UFO Day on June 24, 2022."

Contact:          Andrew Nelson

SOURCE Bonny Doon Vineyard