Hermit Ram: Our Most Popular Orange Wine is Back!
When orange wines first started appearing on the shelves and wine lists, their unusual charm was thought of as a novel thrill.
Sure, they arrived like a fad. But their quality, mystique, and rarity fueled a popularity that has moved far beyond hipsters and aficionados. Orange wines are now amongst the most requested in the shop and top-searched on our website.
But, if you aren't already hooked, you're probably wondering what "Orange" wine actually is.
White grapes aren't actually white, they're green or yellow or green or some combination thereof. The color of a wine is based on the grape skins and how long the juice is in contact with them.
Thus the more accurate term is skin-contact white but that is a bit cumbersome. Most folks use the term to denote any wine made in this style--from pale yellow to the deeply amber.
Skin contact adds flavors, texture and tannins and thus adding levels of complexity that would otherwise not be there.
Stylistically they are all over the place from light and fresh to deeply rich and tannic. They can be rustic or exceedingly elegant and everything in between. Basically there is an orange wine for everyone, but the one that seems to be universally loved by all is The Hermit Rams Skin-Contact Sauvignon Blanc from North Canterbury New Zealand.
This wine is, by far, our most popular Orange wine. The Hermit Ram is a perfect wine for those new to the Orange-side as well as dedicated fans of the stuff.
Theo Cole, the man behind Hermit Ram calls his style of winemaking “pre-technology”, a reference to the fact that there are almost zero inputs in any of the wines that he makes.
The fruit comes from tiny vineyards throughout the Canterbury region of New Zealand. With some of the country’s most diversified land formations--from the volcanic Banks Peninsula to the clay and limestone soils of the Waipara and Waikari valleys--the region lends itself to highly varied and interesting soil types.
This, along with its cool, long, and sundrenched growing season, produce impressive, concentrated wines with a deep streak of acidity and minerality.
All the vines are organic or biodynamically farmed.
Old techniques are employed and Theo's gentle hand and immense talent are evident. This is a wine of depth, complexity, individuality and most importantly, drinkability.
New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs’s tropical juiciness is a perfect match for the earthy and spicy flavors that skin contact brings.
Tropical aromatics and tangerine oil jump from the glass tinged with a salty flinty aroma and asian spice. Skin-Contact produces a palate that restrains the tropical juicines in a core of texture and salinity.
The textural richness is washed over by the fresh and balanced acidity keeping everything crisp and snappy. This is an elegant and uniquely delicious bottle.
I’m all about wines with versatility. This is perfect on its own with enough texture and plenty of layers to keep you engaged.
But this pairs perfectly with everything from roasted summer vegetables and grilled fish to Thai food and oysters.
Basically, it's the perfect summer white.