Fall in love with orange wine! Mari Vineyards Winemaker Sean O’Keefe was inspired by Georgian winemaking techniques when creating the 2020 Bestiary Ramato. Here’s how you can grab a bottle of this Northern Michigan wine + tips on what to pair it with just in time for Thanksgiving.

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Orange wine—a golden-hued, skin-contact white wine—has been made for thousands of years, originating in the country of Georgia. However, it’s relatively new to Northern Michigan where winemakers at 45 North Vineyard & Winery, Black Star Farms, Nathaniel Rose, Mari Vineyards and Shady Lane Cellars are experimenting with different grapes and maceration periods.

Mari Vineyards Winemaker Sean O’Keefe was inspired by Georgian winemaking techniques when creating the 2020 Bestiary Ramato. “We love this wine because it stands out on our list as a unique representation of pinot grigio, which is not often viewed as a complex grape,” says Bonnie Hardin, Mari’s sales and marketing coordinator. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see additional labels pop up over the next few years as consumers continue to familiarize themselves with this revival of an ancient style.”

Photo by Dave Weidner

Photo by Dave Weidner

Photo by Dave Weidner

What to Pair with Orange Wine

Orange wine Pairings: The 2020 Bestiary Ramato’s “distinct tannins and a slight astringency work well with foods that have some bitterness, such as Brussels sprouts or green beans with bacon,” Hardin says. (Try this month’s On the Table recipe, shaved Brussels sprouts salad). The acidity and tannins also help it stand up to richer dishes like turkey, Hardin adds, which allows the fruit flavor to pop. Earthy dishes—think wild rice with walnuts and dried fruit—“would also provide complexity and richness to match the wine’s layered flavors and textures.”

Photo by Dave Weidner

Photo by Dave Weidner

Photo by Dave Weidner

Photo(s) by Dave Weidner