Summer is here, which means that Rosé season has also arrived. This pink wine grew 53% by volume to sales in 2017 in the US, with special popularity in coastal settings, as Metro New York City and Miami. It seems that it’s here to stay, so why not going further into it?

This pink wine can be made from nearly any red grape variety, ranging in taste from dry to sweet, although there are some best preferred for it: Grenache, Syrah, Cabernet Franc or Mourvedre. Many of the earliest rosé wines were produced in Provence (France), but other Mediterranean countries as Italy, Spain and Portugal are also good growers. In the US, many new styles of Rosé wine are introduced every year and states like Oregon, Washington, California or New York are at the top of producers.

The dominant flavors of rosé wines are strawberries, melon, rose petals, celery and orange peel. Obviously, depending on the variety used to make it, this kind of wines can offer some notes of dried mango, peach, rhubarb or tangerine. All of them are usually very fruity but can vary their sweetness or dryness according to the grape variety.

As you know, pink grapes don’t exist in nature, so how do winemakers create rosé wine? Skin contact is the key. There are several methods to make rosé, but the four most commonly used ways are the following:

    • Limited skin maceration: probably the most popular method, the skins of the grapes are in contact with the juice until the winemaker decides the color is right. This process can last from six to 48 hours: the longer the maceration, the darker the rosé.
  • Saignée or bleeding: the winemaker vinifies as a red wine but early in the maceration process, will remove some juice from the tank and put into a new vat. This method concentrates the wines’ intensity and is very common in regions as Napa or Sonoma.
  • Pressé or pressing: this technique consists in directly pressing the grapes until the juice has the desired color. This process tends to produce the palest-pink rosés.
  • Blending: the practice of blending white and red wines is not very common since is forbidden in Europe, but some regions with less-strict vinification rules use it.

 

After one of these processes, the fermentation completes and wine is kept cool in tanks to stabilize it for a short period of time until it is clarified and bottled. You may think that making rosé is a very simple process, which can be true, and the market is full of wineries that sell it. But what about making a high-quality rosé? All the color and aroma of this kind of wine comes from the skin of the grape during the contact with the juice, in a short but critical time.

That’s why it is very important to pay attention to the vines and the grapes. Working in a vineyard with unique qualities will lead to a wine with unique characteristics. How can you know the features of your vineyard and grapes and enhance its potential? A WineSeq test is the answer. With a sample you will get a full report about the microbial population that inhabits them and discover how you can boost their properties to make a unique rosé wine.