USA / Portland, Willamette Valley
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2020 Division 'L'Orange' Skin Contact White

Division Winemaking Co.

Portland, Willamette Valley

Capturing complex colours, textures, and aromatics deliciously was the main goal, and our 2020 l’Orange demonstrates the beautiful harmony we were seeking through a blend of white layering varied varieties and macerations. Along with notes of tangerine peel and peat, we can’t help but notice a touch of eucalyptus in the wine.


The 2020 vintage throughout Pacific Northwest was incredibly challenging in many ways, beyond the operating impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. The growing season across Oregon and Washington was ideal until wildfires began to develop in Southern Oregon and then in early September, a strong hot and dry wind event that led to several wildfires kicking off near the Willamette Valley in the nearby Western Cascade foothills. Our sites in the Columbia Valley in Washington were the least impacted, while some sites in Oregon did face considerable smoke impact. Fortunately, most the white grape varieties fermented in skins for this orange wine came from Washington or were left on the skins for only a short period of time.


The L’Orange wine has been a true work in progress since 2012 when it was only Chardonnay skin fermented. Since then, we have experimented with many varieties, lengths of time on skin and even with carbonic fermentation. Each of these variables creates the complexity of flavours that are layered together to create an interesting, yet drinkable Orange Wine. With this vintage having potential wildfire impact, we greatly reduced the times on the skins for the sites that we had potential concern and we brought in more grapes from Eastern WA, where there was very little smoke, to have a component with a long maceration on the skins. It was a very complex year to create this wine with many different components, seven varieties in all, and the unsurety of working with new varieties. Ultimately, the diligence and choices we had to make the blend, really worked out well and a beautiful wine developed.