Rosés in Provence are made in 2 distinct methods
I’m leaving shortly for Provence. At this time of year Provence is synonymous with Rosé. For centuries, Rosé has been a staple in southern France’s district of Provence. Today, however, Provence is the world’s leading district for dry Rosé production (accounting for nearly 50% of the region’s wines). While there are three different ways in which a Rosé can be made in some regions of France, in Provence there are only two methods for creating a Rosé.
Let’s start with the basics. Vinifying a Rosé starts with red wine grapes. Clear juices from the grapes are kept in contact for a short time with the darkly pigmented skins. Once the juice becomes pinkish (or a deeper salmon or coral) from contact with the dark skins, it is then removed from further interaction with the skins.
Now, let’s discuss Provence’s two ways of birthing a Rosé. The first method is called “saignée,” a French term which means “to bleed.” The saignée method literally “bleeds” or siphons off some of the grape juice during the making of a red wine fermentation. (The remaining red wine, now quite concentrated, is then fermented separately from the Rosé). Among many current Rosé purists, saignée is viewed as merely a by-product of a more complex red wine. Nonetheless, this method remains popular in many parts of the world and the resulting Rosés can be superb.
Have a Rosé-colored Sunday!