Rosé is an increasingly popular wine category; our rosé sales in 2018 were an incredible 73% up on the previous year!
There are of course many different styles from the regions around the winemaking world. These range from dry to very sweet. At the moment France represents just over 60% of our sales.
There are three main production methods used – maceration, saignée and blending.
Maceration is where the skins of the red wine grapes are left to rest or macerate in the juice. Depending on the required colour this can take anything from two to twenty hours. Once the winemaker is happy with the colour, the juice is removed from the skins and transferred to another tank to complete fermentation. This process is used in the production of Pinot Grigio Ramato as Pinot Grigio skins have a naturally pink tinge to them.
Blending was banned within the EU (except in Champagne) in June 2009. This is the practice of taking a white wine and adding a small proportion of red wine to it to make it a pink colour. This is a traditional method of making rosé Champagnes and also some new world rosé wines.
Saignée (‘bleeding’ in French) is the method of making rosé as a by-product of red wine. During the fermentation a proportion of the juice is bled off. This leaves a higher ratio of skin in contact with the remaining juice. As a result the red wine is richer and bolder. The juice that has already been extracted is fermented to create rosé wine. This method is used to create high quality rosé wines such as Laurent Perrier Rosé Champagne.
The Mediterranean region of Provence is home to some of France’s oldest vineyards and is the world’s largest region to specialise in rosé wines. Provence has become synonymous with the delicate pink wines characterised by the classic ‘garrigue’ notes of lavender, rosemary and thyme; herbs which cover the landscape of Provence. Well over half the French rosé we sell is from this exciting region and its success has led to many other regions and countries producing wines in this style. Excellent examples of this would be the Bastion de la Cité Rosé from the Languedoc and Rogers & Rufus Rosé crafted from bush vine Grenache in the Barossa Valley.