Food-Friendly Skin-Fermented Vineti delle Dolomiti #ItalianFWT

This month we’re exploring Northeastern Italy regions of Trentino-Alto Adige and Friuli-Venizia Giulia. Map courtesy of

Italian Food, Wine & Travel Group Explores Northeast Italy!
This month, our #ItalianFWT blogging group is traveling (virtually) around the Dolomites mountains in Northeast Italy. Much less famous than other regions to the south, Northeast Italy has so much to offer. You can link to all the other posts from the group further down in this post.

Skin-Fermented White Wines
At one time, all wines were made the same, no matter what color the grapes. Grow the grapes, pick the grapes, stomp the grapes, ferment, then age. In modern times, white wines were developed to enhance fresh character by pressing the juice off the the grapes immediately, then fermenting just the juice. Skin-fermented white wines aka “orange wines” are wines made in the older style. The grapes are crushed and the skins, seeds, pulp, and stems are left with the fermenting juice. Sometimes the skin contact is just a few days, or during fermentation. Sometimes, the skins, pulp, stems, seeds are all left together for months while the wine ages. Winegrowers in Northeastern Italy have been some of the leaders in this return to an older style of wine.

(Click on any photo for a slide show of Italian skin-fermented white wines I have enjoyed. Hit “escape to return to the post)

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Skin-fermented “orange” wines exhibit very different flavors and aromas compared to both modern white wines and red wines. They have similar texture to red wines, complete with rich body and astringent tannins. However, their flavors and aromas are unique. These differences may be off-putting initially, but with a little patience, you may find they offer a unique and very food-friendly alternative at the dinner table.

Foradori Wines
The Foradori winery is an icon in the Trentino region of Italy. Elisabetta Foradori took over the family winery in 1984 at a young age, after her father had died and her mother had been managing the winery. Elisabetta believed that the region was capable of better wines than they were typically producing, and she dedicated her work to showcasing higher quality farming of grapes native to the region. Today, she is still involved but the next generation is actively working all aspects of the winery. They farm biodynamically and produce unique wines made in traditional fashion from native grapes.

Foradori Fontanasant Nosiola is made from a rare native grape of the region.

Foradori Fontanasanta Nosiola Vigneti delle Dolomiti IGT 2015 ($44 at Sunfish Cellars or online here) 12.5% abv
A bit about the wine: This wine is made from the Nosiola grape, native to the region and nearly extinct before being recovered. Farmed under biodynamics,the grapes are kept on their skins entirely through fermentation and aging for eight months in clay amphora (tinaja from Spain).

Eye: Hazy, deep lemon-gold color. Minimal legs
Nose: Immediately on opening, a cidery smell is present. Dissipates after decanting for an hour or so. Aromas of ripe pears, lemon zest, ripe cantaloupe, beeswax, white flowers, giving a rich impression.
Mouth: Dry, medium+ intensity. Texture on this wine is rich, like a red wine but with a completely different flavor profile. Flavors of lemons, pears, melon, with floral notes. Acidity is high, but balanced by a rich creamy mouthfeel. Tannins are present, medium-, due to the long time fermenting and aging on the skins. The wine benefits from several hours of air before serving, and should be served just below room temperature, not too cold.

Food Pairing with Skin-Fermented White Wines
We enjoyed this wine with grilled scallops with a side dish of brightly acidic vinegar based slaw. I expected the wine to pair well with the rich flavors and grilled smokiness of the scallops. I expected the slaw to not be a great match, but was surprised how well the wine paired with everything in the meal. Texture and richness in the wine paired well with the scallops rich umami. The wine also had refreshing acidity, so even the vinegary slaw was a good match. A different flavor and aroma profile, but food friendly – yes!

Other Northeastern Italy Posts from fellow Italian Food Wine & Travel Bloggers
As you can see, my fellow Italian wine fans have lots of great ideas involving wines of Northeastern Italy. If you see this soon enough, join our chat on twitter on Saturday August 3 at 10am CDT at the hashtag #ItalianFWT

Recipe Details for Scallops
The June/July 2019 issue of Bon Appetit has lots of fun summer recipes, and we have been trying several. Our dinner today was Grilled Scallops with Nori, Giner, and Lime. I followed the recipe, although I must admit my spice mill did not get along with the nori. I ended up crushing it as finely as possible by hand and chefs knife.

16 Responses to “Food-Friendly Skin-Fermented Vineti delle Dolomiti #ItalianFWT”
  1. I’m loving the sound of this wine Jeff! Good tips about letting orange wines breathe a bit and not serving too cold too!

  2. culinarycam says:

    What a great post and pairing. I adore skin fermented wines. And I love the dipped wax top…in yellow! I’ve never seen that. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Wendy Klik says:

    What great color and they sound delicious. Love those pairings.

  4. I’m more than a bit envious of your grilling game and always look forward to your posts. Especially intrigued by how well the wine paired with such different flavors and textures! And thanks for the tip on decanting the skin-fermented white wine before drinking; I think it might make them more appealing to me in general. It’s been hit-or-miss thus far.

  5. Katarina Andersson says:

    Nosiola is a fab grape and maceration on the skins is almost always interesting.. ;-)…Great pairing also…

  6. Every time I see orange wines I think of you. I know you enjoy them! ; )

  7. Nicole Ruiz Hudson says:

    Foradori makes beautiful wines and so happy to have more background! You slide show has an amazing line up of killer wines, and the food looks delicious as well.

  8. I love learning about these biodynamic producers doing interesting things in unusual places! Thanks for the intro!

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] Jeff at FoodWineClick! will be getting back to nature with “A Food-Friendly Skin-Fermented Vigneti delle Dolomiti.” […]

  2. […] Jeff at FoodWineClick! will be getting back to nature with “A Food-Friendly Skin-Fermented Vigneti delle Dolomiti.” […]

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