The Rosé Revolution

The Rosé Revolution

The Rosé Revolution was conceived by Leanne De Bortoli and Steven Webber of De Bortoli Wines to raise the awareness of light, fresh dry style Rose.

The aim was to get restaurants and wine bars as well as people at home having a simultaneous tasting of Rose on the 30th of November all linked together by twitter. What started as an exciting concept has taken on a life of its own with people as far away as England wanting to be involved. Check it out at

Here are a few statistics on Rosé production and consumption (for more info click here to see Rapwine) – 8.5% of all wine produced each year is Rose (21.5 million hectoliters) i. About 75% or the worlds Rose is produced in Europe and 18% in USA ii.

France produces about 29% with Italy and Spain not far behind. Provence itself produces about 5% of the world’s Rosé . – The main producing countries are also the main consumer countries with France consuming about a million litres more than it produces.

Rosé can be produced a number of different ways which has lead to considerable confusion about what to expect from the wine. It can be produced from white wine blended with a little red for colour however purists consider this a ‘Blush’ wine and that Rosé should be produced from red grapes only.

A blush wine produced from white grapes with a little bit of red wine will taste like the white wine from which it was made with just a little adulteration. Try it at home sometime with a white and a bit of red and see if your guests can guess what it is.

A Rosé can also be produced from a red wine filtered through a bed of carbon to remove most of the colour, you probably won’t try this at home but can probably imagine it would taste very different. The colour in most Rose comes from the skin of the red grapes which is extracted by a brief period of skin and juice contact after crushing before alcoholic fermentation begins.

The juice is then separated from the skins and fermented as if it were white wine.

If the grapes are sound when they arrive at the winery and they are handled gently during crushing there will be very little tannin in the wine as the tannin is primarily extracted from the skins, seeds and stems during alcoholic fermentation.

Fermentation time is the most rewarding for me as a winemaker as the aromas from this process are exquisite. Red ferments are particularly fragrant with delicious berry aromas.

While these primary fruit characters are more in the background of a mature red wine, somewhat changed by tannin, oak and ageing, they can be very attractively displayed in a Rosé.

My current release shows much of what I like about Rosé: the fruit on the nose is very evident but not too confectionery or jammy, the first impression when sipped is of sweetness as it is very mouth filling (a result of the blend of varieties) and then because it is a dry wine with good acid it finishes very crisp with delicious berry fruit characters lingering for several minutes after swallowing.

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