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A beautiful illustrated 250 page book telling the full, forgotten story of orange wine, from Friuli & Slovenia to Georgia and beyond
A beautiful illustrated 250 page book telling the full, forgotten story of orange wine, from Friuli & Slovenia to Georgia and beyond
A beautiful illustrated 250 page book telling the full, forgotten story of orange wine, from Friuli & Slovenia to Georgia and beyond
388 backers pledged €25,148 to help bring this project to life.

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Amber Revolution - how the world learned to love orange wine

€25,148

388

** UPDATE: First stretch goal reached - can you help us get to the second? Scroll to the bottom for details ***

Amber Revolution is the first book worldwide to tell the full forgotten story of orange wine (white wine made like a red wine). White grapes are left in contact with their skins for days, weeks or months during fermentation, creating stunning complexity, unusual aromas and intense flavours.

The extended skin contact gives these wines bold amber, russet or orange tints. The technique is ancient but the hype is new and fast growing.

Amber Revolution opens with the tale of a struggling community in the cross-border region of Friuli Collio (Italy) and Slovenia, an area desecrated by two world wars, its identity and culture almost totally destroyed.

Out of the ashes emerges an extraordinary "back to the roots" winemaking movement, fuelled by the genius and passion of Joško Gravner and Stanko Radikon. Their work lifts the veil on an even older wine culture in the Republic of Georgia: 8,000 years of traditional winemaking in giant amphorae (qvevri) - a method driven underground by the soviets, who raped the rural landscape and wiped out much of Georgia's most precious vineyard.

 

Written by renowned orange wine expert & award winning writer Simon J Woolf, Amber Revolution reads more like a good novel than a dry reference work. 

And it's not just about history - the book is crammed full of all the information you need to find the best orange wines worldwide, and tips for how to buy, enjoy, food-match and age them.

 

The book is beautifully illustrated with over 100 specially commissioned photos from photographer Ryan Opaz, all packaged in a gorgeous full colour design by Studio Eyal & Myrthe.

Amber Revolution is more than just a good read - it's also an essential reference work for any wine lover, sommelier, retailer or producer who loves orange wine.

I'm a British multi-award winning wine writer and journalist, and acknowledged expert on orange and natural wines. I contribute regularly to Decanter Magazine (where I lead a panel tasting of orange wines in 2016 and Decanter's first ever panel tasting of natural wines in 2017), Meininger's Wine Business International and I'm a columnist for Palate Press.

I founded The Morning Claret in 2011. It has since grown to be one of the world's most well loved online resources for natural, artisanal and orange wines.

I was featured in Drinks Business last December after I invited Hugh Johnson OBE to a private orange wine tasting.

I've twice been shortlisted for the Roederer International Wine Writer Awards, and won the Born Digital Wine Award for best opinion piece in 2015.

I've been based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, since 2014 - a country with many nice orange references!

I decided to write Amber Revolution four years ago, because it was the book I'd always wanted - and it didn't exist!

Back in 2011, I discovered one of the world's most ancient and unique wine styles in Friuli (Northeast Italy) - orange wine. I was hooked. This style is so different, so delicious, so profound.

But where did it come from? How is it made? And how did it come from nowhere a decade or so ago, to be on every hip wine list across the globe?

In Amber Revolution, I answer all of these questions and more.

 

The book will be at least 250 pages long - and maybe as much as 300 pages if we reach a stretch funding goal, more about that later. It will have five main chapters (detailed below), with many sidebars and supporting content, plus an index and a foreword.

1. Introduction - my personal story. 

How I fell in love with orange wines and why I decided to write this book.

2. Revelation and reinvention in war-torn Oslavia

The complete story of Stanko Radikon, Joško Gravner and their colleagues on the Italian and Slovenian sides of the border.

Plus: How are orange wines made and why do they taste so different? Which varieties are they made from, and which parts of the world?

3. Revealed behind the iron curtain 

The story of Georgia's amazing winemaking culture, dating back 8000 years but almost completely obscured from view during the soviet era - with input from many of the country's best traditional winemakers.

Plus: Why orange wines and natural wines are not exactly the same, and what can go wrong. How can you tell a good one from a bad one?

4. Haters gonna hate - the path to acceptance.

How did these wines become popular in the last 10-15 years, and why have they inspired such a polarised critical reception? Why do sommeliers love them so much, and why are we seeing more and more examples made across the globe?

Plus: Where to buy orange wines and how to enjoy them. Food matching, ageing and selecting your favourites.

5. Recommended producers

Profiles of 180 producers who specialise in this style, from over 20 countries. Including Italy, Slovenia, Austria, Croatia, Bosnia, Spain, France, Switzerland, Portugal, Georgia, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Chile and South Africa.

As well as discounted pricing on the book itself (the RRP will be €35), you can grab a super limited print as one of the rewards.

Ryan & I visited Georgia in May 2017, and we decided to offer four of Ryan's favourite photos from that trip as limited edition prints. Here they are, available as the rewards "GEORGIA ON MY MIND" #1 - #4.

#1 Gaumarjos! (Brothers winery, Kartli)
#1 Gaumarjos! (Brothers winery, Kartli)

 

#2 New Wine Festival (Tbilisi)
#2 New Wine Festival (Tbilisi)

 

#3 Giorgi Barisashvili (Mshketa)
#3 Giorgi Barisashvili (Mshketa)

 

#4 Qvevri inspection (Brothers winery, Kartli)
#4 Qvevri inspection (Brothers winery, Kartli)

Each print is hand numbered in an edition of only 25, and signed by Ryan. The dimensions will be approximately 59cm x 42cm but please note the final dimensions may be slightly different by a centimetre or two. Don't go and buy a frame just yet!

The prints will be produced using the Giclee printing method (archival inkjet printing designed to last for decades) on heavy 270gsm art paper.

We're also offering just five complete sets of all four prints, which will be identically numbered (eg: you will receive 1/25 of each print).

Prints will be dispatched separately in robust cardboard tubes, to arrive in time for Christmas 2017 (so before 24th December). Please note this means the shipping costs on these rewards are a few euros higher.

As well as the four photo prints, we also decided to make a print from one of my favourite pieces of artwork for the book. This image is most likely going to be used as the book's endpapers, although there's a small chance it may even end up on the front or back cover!

We're offering this as a huge 59cm x 42cm print (approx dimensions), again produced using the giclee method (Archival inkjet printing designed to last for decades), in an edition of 50 hand numbered and signed by artists Eyal & Myrthe.

Prints will be dispatched separately in robust cardboard tubes, to arrive in time for Christmas 2017 (so before 24th December). Please note this means the shipping costs on these rewards are a few euros higher.

These leading wine writers and industry experts have seen a sneak preview of the book. Here's what they said:

"Timely and very readable"  Hugh Johnson OBE

"Fascinating​, deftly written​. Will tell you everything you need to know about this long-hidden tradition."  Andrew Jefford, Decanter/World of Fine Wine

"Nobody knows more about orange wine and its fascinating history than Simon Woolf, and nobody writes better about it."  Felicity Carter, Editor, Meininger's Wine Business International.

"Witty, precise and well written with Simon Woolf's unique and signature style, this book will definitely become the ultimate reference for orange wines"  José Vouillamoz, author, Wine Grapes

"In Amber Revolution, Woolf is at his best, combining personal narrative with historical research and a handy reference guide, while debunking the myths surrounding orange wines."  Suzanne Mustacich, Wine Spectator 

                                                         .  

  

Here's a breakdown of what the €17,500 goal will fund. Note that in actual fact, Kickstarter fees + payment processing fees will eat up about 8% of the total, so I'll receive 8% less than the final total raised.

I'm funding some of the costs of this project myself, including most of the travel and research time, plus miscellaneous costs such as purchase of fonts, the ISBN number, delivery and fulfilment.

And... as I've achieved the initial target, here are details of the stretch goals. Together we can do it! Thank you!

There is enough material for Amber Revolution to be a 300 page book, however this increases the design, layout and printing costs.

The extra pages will allow me to feature more of the beautiful photography from Ryan Opaz, and include a little more detail on how this wine style is developing in countries and wine regions outside its spiritual home around the Adriatic and in Georgia.

If we reach this stretch goal, we can make the front cover of the book really awesome, with some embossing and foiling to bring out the detail.

At this level I’ll also sign a further 150 copies of the book, and we’re going to ask you which of two cover options you’d prefer.

As a thank you, we’ll also release a really iconic additional print at a very attractive price – for new pledgers or upgraders.

This stretch goal will allow us to visit a few more of the producers who’ll be in the book, and increase the number of original photos to around 150 (rather than the planned 100). The additional destinations are likely to be Alto Adige, Trentino and Sicily.

At this level, we’re also going to pimp the book’s cover even more. The band around the front will have “Amber Revolution” stencilled and cut out, plus a tear-strip so you can turn it into a bookmark!

I’ll sign a massive 1,000 copies of the book as a thank you to all the extra supporters. 

And finally. . .

if you don't see a reward that you would like (eg: a different combination or book multi-buy, or a super special option for an arranged visit to a wine region), please feel free to leave a comment and ask us. If we can make it happen, we will - we can add more rewards to the campaign as we go.


Thank you so much for your support! Without it, this project simply wouldn't happen.

Please share Amber revolution with the world - let's find all the orange wine fans out there! You can use the hashtag #amberevolution and tag me as follows:

Facebook: @simonjustinwoolf or @themorningclaret 

Twitter: @simonjwoolf 

Instagram: @themorningclaret or @amber_revolution

  

                                                           .

Risks and challenges

I've designed and planned everything to minimise the risks in this project: I've assembled a great team to deliver the book, including photographer Ryan Opaz, designers Eyal and Myrthe, a professional editor and assistant.

As someone who's worked as a journalist in the wine world for five years, I have plenty of experience with tight deadlines, and I'm very well aware that printing presses don't wait for anyone.

I've already written 50% of the final book, and we've shot about half the photos we need. We've drawn up a realistic schedule for completion:

Oct - Nov 2017 : Shooting additional photos, completing research, writing
Dec '17 - Early Mar '18 : Complete writing of the book & photo post-processing
Early March 2018 : Editing and text revisions (further photo post-processing if necessary)
Mid March : Layout and design
Mid April : Proofs and printing
Early June : Printing complete. Books delivered to Amsterdam.
July 2018 : All copies sent out by end July.

There are still risks. These are the main ones I’ve identified:

1. Printing an illustrated book can involve long lead times. If we have any issues at the proofing stage, or we have complicated cover artwork (embossing, foils etc), this could introduce delays of up to a few weeks

2. If the editing process throws up any major structural problems with the text, this could have a knock-on effect as it will delay the designers and possibly mean they need to rethink some of the layout (for example if the structure of the book changes dramatically at the last minute)

3. Everyone working on this book is self-employed and not part of a large company. This means that were someone to have a serious illness or setback, this could delay us for a few weeks or even months while we find a replacement. I sincerely hope this won't be the case but it is always a risk.

4. Although we have said in the campaign that we can ship anywhere, the reality is that there are a few isolated parts of the world where it is very difficult to deliver parcels. If you are based somewhere like Mongolia, Azerbaijan or Lesotho, we will try to find a way to deliver to you, but it could involve extra money and an extra wait. It most likely won't be a problem if you're ordering one book, but it could be a serious issue if you want 5 or 10. If you are in any doubt, please just ask us before selecting your reward.

5. There is a small risk with the prints because we did not yet get Artist's proofs made. This risk is tiny, but if we find that one of the images doesn't look as good as we expected, we might decide to change that image or do additional image processing. Should this occur, we will inform you and give you the option of a refund if you're not happy about any changes.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge €5 or more About $6

    UP THE REVOLUTION!

    Help get the Amber Revolution started.You'll receive a personal thank you email from Simon plus a special Amber Revolution digital wallpaper / screensaver image.

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    Pledge €25 or more About $30

    EARLY BIRD

    Receive a signed copy of the beautiful first edition, with your name printed in the acknowledgements. Early birds get the book earlier and cheaper!

    Includes:
    • Amber Revolution first edition. 250 pages, hardcover, full colour
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    Reward no longer available 50 backers
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    Pledge €28 or more About $34

    IT'S PERSONAL

    Receive a signed copy of the beautiful first edition, with your name printed in the acknowledgements.

    Includes:
    • Amber Revolution first edition. 250 pages, hardcover, full colour
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    Pledge €50 or more About $60

    DOUBLE REVOLUTION

    Two copies of the book for only €25 each, with your name printed in the acknowledgements. One to keep and one to gift!

    Includes:
    • Amber Revolution first edition. 250 pages, hardcover, full colour
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge €90 or more About $108

    FEEL THE SUNSHINE

    Limited "Revolution Sun" print (59x42cm edition of 50, 270gsm art paper) by Studio Eyal & Mrythe + signed book. Print delivered in time for Christmas 2017.

    Includes:
    • Amber Revolution first edition. 250 pages, hardcover, full colour
    • "Revolution Sun" - hand numbered, hand signed giclee print
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    Limited 17 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge €90 or more About $108

    GEORGIA ON MY MIND #1 - GAUMARJOS

    Limited "Gaumarjos" print (59x42cm edition of 25, 270gsm art paper, see image and details in main text) + signed book. Print delivered in time for Christmas 2017.

    Includes:
    • Amber Revolution first edition. 250 pages, hardcover, full colour
    • "Georgian winemaker" giclee print, hand numbered & signed
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    Limited 0 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge €90 or more About $108

    GEORGIA ON MY MIND #2 - FESTIVAL

    Limited "Festival" print (59x42cm edition of 25, 270gsm art paper, see image and details in main text) + signed book. Print delivered in time for Christmas 2017.

    Includes:
    • Amber Revolution first edition. 250 pages, hardcover, full colour
    • "Georgian winemaker" giclee print, hand numbered & signed
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    Limited 2 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge €90 or more About $108

    GEORGIA ON MY MIND #3 - GIORGI B

    Limited "Giorgi B" print (59x42cm edition of 25, 270gsm art paper, see image and details in main text) + signed book. Print delivered in time for Christmas 2017.

    Includes:
    • Amber Revolution first edition. 250 pages, hardcover, full colour
    • "Georgian winemaker" giclee print, hand numbered & signed
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge €90 or more About $108

    GEORGIA ON MY MIND #4 - QVEVRI

    Limited "Qvevri Inspection" print (59x42cm edition of 25, 270gsm art paper, see image and details in main text) + signed book. Print delivered in time for Christmas 2017.

    Includes:
    • Amber Revolution first edition. 250 pages, hardcover, full colour
    • "Georgian winemaker" giclee print, hand numbered & signed
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    Pledge €110 or more About $132

    THE FIVER

    A five pack of the book for only €22 per copy, perfect for your tasting room, restaurant or for re-sale. (RRP €35)

    Includes:
    • Amber Revolution first edition. 250 pages, hardcover, full colour
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    Pledge €200 or more About $240

    BULK BUY DON'T BE SHY

    A box of 10 copies of the book, intended for re-sale. Perfect for book shops or merchants. (RRP €35)

    Includes:
    • 10× Amber Revolution first edition. 250 pages, hardcover, full colour
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge €250 or more About $300

    GEORGIAN QUARTET

    Very limited set of all four Georgian winemaker prints (59x42cm, editions of 25, 270gsm paper, matching numbers) + signed book. Prints delivered in time for Christmas 2017.

    Includes:
    • Amber Revolution first edition. 250 pages, hardcover, full colour
    • Set of 4 Georgian winemaker giclee prints, hand numbered & signed
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    Pledge €400 or more About $480

    TWENTY BOOK DEAL

    20 copies of the first edition book, can be personally delivered to locations in Amsterdam West and Westerpark!

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    Reward no longer available 1 backer
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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge €600 or more About $720

    GRAVNER DINNER WITH SIMON & THE PRODUCER

    Your invite to a lavish private dinner cooked by Simon at his Amsterdam apartment (6 courses, 8 Gravner vintages 1997 - 2009), your book signed at table. And there will be a very special guest from the Gravner family joining us!

    Travel and accommodation not included, date TBC in discussion with all 6 participants. Pledge amount is per seat.

    Includes:
    • Amber Revolution first edition. 250 pages, hardcover, full colour
    • Artists proof of the "Revolution sun" giclee print, signed
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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge €625 or more About $750

    REVOLUTION IN YOUR KITCHEN

    Simon will present a personal "orange/amber" tasting at your home, for up to 12 guests.

    Travel costs extra/to be agreed. Only available to EU destinations that I can reach easily from Amsterdam.

    And I'll personally deliver and sign six books at the same time!

    Includes:
    • Amber Revolution first edition. 250 pages, hardcover, full colour
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  16. Select this reward

    Pledge €1,250 or more About $1,501

    SIMON PRESENTS

    Simon J Woolf will present a 90 minute seminar/workshop for your company, tasting group or private party (up to 40 guests). You choose the venue and the date.

    (Travel expenses and venue hire not included)

    Includes:
    • Amber Revolution first edition. 250 pages, hardcover, full colour
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Funding period

- (29 days)