The Wine & Spirits Education Trust has added orange wine to its syllabus, signalling mainstream acceptance of the style. For the first time, the Diploma in Wines will now include information about the style and category.
“This is in part because the new Diploma materials are more detailed than the study guides that we produced previously,” said Ian Harris, chief executive officer of WSET, “and in part because we feel that the style has reached sufficient prominence for students studying our highest-level qualification to be aware,” of it.
A paragraph will be included in the section on Skin Contact for white wines in the Wine Production Unit, and also in the Friuli section in the Wines of the World Unit. Orange wine may also be used as an optional tasting sample in the classroom.
“You want proof that the seemingly static wine world evolves and changes? Here it is: an archaic style of winemaking that was slated as faulty and undrinkable when it was reintroduced in the late 90s is now categorically on the map,” said writer Simon J. Woolf, Meininger’s contributor and author of Amber Revolution: How the World Learned to Love Orange Wine. “The final vindication that orange wine has arrived is its inclusion on the syllabus of one of the world’s most respected, blue chip wine education establishments.”
Orange wine, or amber wine, is white wine made using skin contact and is a traditional method of winemaking in Georgia, Slovenia and Friuli-Venezia. Skin-fermented white wines were found in Italy up until the 1960s, until they fell out of favour. The style is undergoing a worldwide renaissance, with examples now found in every winemaking country.
The WSET Diploma syllabus was released on 1 August 2019.