Often synonymous with holidays, sun and summer, rosé has taken a growing place in the wine market in France as well as in French wine consumption. But what are the particularities of this wine?

THE ORIGIN OF ROSÉ WINE

Rosé wine is considered the oldest wine in the world. Indeed, it is in the Mediterranean basin and more particularly in Provence that the culture of the vine developed in antiquity and the production of wine.

At the time the red wine produced by the Egyptians, then the Greeks and finally the Romans was very clear, this wine was also called vinum clarum (clear wine). This is because the grape juice used to make the wine fermented without the pieces of skin or pulp. Thus depriving it of its coloring matter, the wine then came out much clearer. In addition, at that time, the absence of aging in barrels or vats did not allow the wine to be accentuated.

During the rise of the Roman Empire, viticulture saw the light of day throughout Gaulle and it was the church that popularized this clear wine as part of religious ceremonies called "clairet". Clairet is the name given to rosé wine until 1682 when it was called for the first time "rosé" in the Argenteuil vineyards.

The term clairet still persists today for a traditional protected term for AOC Bordeaux and Burgundy wines.

THE MANUFACTURE OF ROSÉ WINE

In general, rosé wine undergoes the same manufacturing process as red wine. The red grapes have colored skin but the juice is white, the color will then transfer during the maceration phase (the contact between the skin and the juice).

There are several methods of making a rosé wine.

The maceration rosé

This method consists of letting the grapes macerate for a few hours or even overnight in vats, it is a short maceration without alcoholic fermentation. The solids of the grape, namely the skin and the seeds then form what is called the marc. It is the marc that will color the wine from the natural pigments contained in the grape. To put an end to the maceration, the juice is simply collected from the bottom of the tank in order to separate it from the marc. This is called " runoff ." 

The bleeding rosé

This method is very similar to the vinification of red wines. This wine is obtained from harvested in vats as for the maceration rosé, but it aims to produce red wine. After several hours of maceration, the juice which has taken on a pink color is released. We leave the other part in order to produce red wine.

The pressing rosé

This method consists in directly pressing the whole bunches after the harvest. The harvested juice is then placed in a vat for fermentation to begin. This method generally gives rosés with a very light color.

The exceptional case of Champagne

Champagne is the only region authorized to make rosé by cutting white wine and red wine. It is then a blended rosé.

WHY IS ROSÉ POPULAR IN FRANCE?

France is the leading producer of rosé wine in the world with 7.6 million hectoliters produced per year out of the 24.3 million hectoliters produced worldwide. In addition to being the leading producer, it is the leading consumer country with no less than 8.1 million hectoliters consumed in 2014. This represents nearly 40% of world production.

Our country is also the leading importer of rosé wine because production does not cover our domestic demand. Thus, we import 22% of rosés from world production.

Apart from its much appreciated bright color, rosé is also a wine containing few residual sugars (less than 4 grams of sugar per liter). Fresh and light, it mainly attracts a young audience and a more feminine audience.

REGIONS PRODUCING ROSÉ WINES

Provence, the great rosé region

Unsurprisingly, the Provence region is the leading producer of rosé wine in France. Its wine production thus comprises 90% rosé wines. The region produces 40% of national production as well as 5% of world production. The most used grape varieties are Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah. A hint of Mourdèvre or Cabernet Sauvignon is also added from time to time.

Languedoc Roussillon

Languedoc Roussillon is the second largest rosé producing region in France with 13% of production. Its climate and its summer atmosphere are very close to Provence, which may explain the enthusiasm for this wine. The rosés from this region are mostly more powerful and more colorful, especially in Roussillon with grape varieties such as Syrah, Carignan and Mourvèdre. In Languedoc, rosés are more often the result of the cinsault-grenache duo supplemented by syrah and mourvèdre.

The Rhone Valley

The Rhône Valley contains an appellation exclusively devoted to rosé wine, Tavel . It is the only Rhône appellation to only make rosé. Rosés de Tavel can be made with many grape varieties. If Grenache Noir dominates, it is accompanied by Cinsault, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Calitor and Carignan. It can also be accompanied by white grape varieties such as Clairette or Bourboulenc. Rich and complex, it is considered one of the rare rosé wines to be allowed to age.

Corsica

In Corsica, rosé represents half of wine production, more in AOC and a little less in IGP. Corsican rosés are made from grape varieties specific to the island, such as nielluccio and sciaccarello, generally complemented by grenache.

The other regions

Rosé is found in other regions of France which are not necessarily known for the production of this wine. Thus, there are some rosé productions in Bordeaux and Sancerre where rosé is made from pinot noir. In Burgundy, Marsannay is the only appellation authorized to produce rosé wine. In the Loire there are two particular rosés, the Rosé d'Anjou and the Cabernet d'Anjou which are semi-dry wines. In Bugey we find Cerdon, an original semi-dry sparkling rosé, already mentioned in our article " Mountain wines ".

Finally, once again, a particularity in Champagne. First of all, in the production of rosé champagnes obtained either by bleeding or by coupage (mixing a little red wine in a white wine). Then there is a unique appellation dedicated to rosé in the Aube department, Rosé des Riceys . This wine is made from 100% Pinot Noir. It undergoes a maceration of three to four days before being aged in barrels for ten to twelve months and marketed within three to four years after harvest.

OUR SELECTION OF MAY ROSÉS

Who says the month of May means the return of rosé in the Domaine du Goût wine box. A selection that will make you travel since we offer a wonderful Côtes du Roussillon from the Piquemal domain, but also a Corbières, Côteaux de l'Aude from the Mas des Caprices domain. Finally, we take you to Calvi in Corsica with the rosé from the domain l'Enclos des Anges. Something to put the sun in your home! If we made your mouth water, do not hesitate to order your box of rosé wines on our site .