“Orange is the new white,” says Yorkville Cellars Founder Ed Walla. Indeed, it does seem that orange wine is making some kind of comeback — like bell bottoms and puff jackets in the 1990s (but, let’s face it, less tacky). If you think orange wine is new, here’s an anecdote from Ed:
“The practice has a long history in winemaking dating back thousands of years to the Eurasian wine producing countries of Armenia and Georgia. In recent years the practice has been adopted by Italian winemakers, initially in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia wine region, while there is also production in Slovenia, Croatia, France, Germany, New Zealand, and California. Orange wines were not uncommon in Italy in the 1950s and 1960s, but gradually became obscure as technically correct and fresh white wines came to dominate the market.”
“Technically correct,” eh? Long live the rebel I say! And if you read my review of the Yorkville Cellars 2015 Semillon, you know that Semillon is one of (if not my absolute) favorite white wine grape. So you can imagine my excitement about this tasting.
I discovered Semillon in Australia (and, yes, if you ever meet me, I do pronounce it “wrong”), where it seemed to be served in abundance — at every restaurant, wine bar, and shop. I fell in love with the grape honestly thinking we didn’t have it here in the States. With less that 1,000 acres of Semillon planted in California, and with most of that being blended into other varietals (usually to act as a “softener” to more fruit-forward white wines like Sauvignon Blanc), it’s no wonder I had that impression.
Suffice it to say that when I finally discovered that I can get 100% Semillon in my hometown, I’ve been snatching up tastes, glasses, and bottles anywhere I can get it. Now the American version, wherever you get it, is vastly different than that produced by my friends down under. But this expression from Yorkville Cellars is everything I’d expect from what could very well be my favorite white grape — smoothed textured, delicate acidity, a balance of fruit and earth. And, as Yorkville Cellars Founder and Grower Ed Wallo says, “Semillon is notable as being one of the few white varietals that is very ageable; so your choice: enjoy it now or let it develop a bit more and include it in a special occasion.”
I did not grow up with a large family. Seeing extended family — even some type of grandparent-like figure — was reserved for holidays. And I’m ok with that because what it means is that my little family of four is actually quite close. I grew up with a mommy, a daddy, and a brother (and our dog, Sparky, who will be the first to greet me at the pearly gates).
My parents are the kind of parents who will play with me, help me with my homework, talk me through tough times, and celebrate even the smallest of victories with me. My brother is the kind of kid that can crawl under my skin and be utterly annoying, but is always there for me at a drop of a hat. I say these things in the present tense because, even as an adult-aged child, all these statements remain true. I used to think I wanted to be a part of a large family, have endless lists of relatives. Not anymore. Party of four means I’m never lost in the crowd, can give and receive attention when needed. Plus we don’t have to wait that long for a table at restaurants.