While orange wines are very of-the-moment, Malek Amrani, owner of The Vice, notes that the charms of skin-fermented white wines are being rediscovered. "Orange wine is the oldest winemaking style," Amrani says. "Before there were white or red wines, there were orange wines."
The St. Helena winery makes about 3,000 cases of orange wine each year, splitting the production between Semillon, Gewurztraminer and Viognier.
With hues from pale gold to copper, their orange wines are ideal for the Halloween dinner of orange cuisine that Amrani and his wife, Torie Greenberg, host. Malek, who's originally from Casablanca, always makes two Moroccan dishes: carrots seasoned with cumin, garlic and parsley that's perfect with the Viognier; and a tagine of chicken stewed with squash, vegetables and aromatic spices that vibes with the Gewrztraminer's lychee and rose notes. Baking spice aromas in the skin-fermented Semillon sing with a sliver of pumpkin pie.
Greenberg, who worked in fashion before co-founding The Vice, is brewing up a 2023 event with themed decorations and coordinated costumes for herself and Malek. She's always loved Halloween, but it feels like a community celebration in Napa Valley. "The best thing about Halloween is it's right after harvest, so everybody is sharing recently bottled wine," Greenberg says. "It's almost like a Friendsgiving but a little more fun."