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Rosé Wines

Beautiful colour tones, delicate and pleasant aromas, fresh and fruity flavours; these are some of the great qualities of rosé wines and are the reason for their growing success. Although it is forbidden to mix red and white wines, there are many different techniques for producing them. The most common is the short maceration of red grape skins in the liquid part of the must. Thanks to the work of brilliant producers, pink wine expressions have reached remarkable and exceptional levels, especially in Provence and in the regions of southern Italy, definitively breaking down the cliché according to which this type is only appreciated by young people and women and opening up to a very wide, expert and refined public.

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Beautiful colour tones, delicate and pleasant aromas, fresh and fruity flavours; these are some of the great qualities of rosé wines and are the reason for their growing success. Although it is forbidden to mix red and white wines, there are many different techniques for producing them. The most common is the short maceration of red grape skins in the liquid part of the must. Thanks to the work of brilliant producers, pink wine expressions have reached remarkable and exceptional levels, especially in Provence and in the regions of southern Italy, definitively breaking down the cliché according to which this type is only appreciated by young people and women and opening up to a very wide, expert and refined public.

Rosé Wine Production Techniques

The success of this type of wine on the international scene is a recent phenomenon and is often linked to trends and new consumer habits, but in some areas the tradition of rose wine has its roots in the ancient past. Some regions of Southern Italy, such as Abruzzo, Puglia and Sicily, have always been home to the best rosé wines, competing qualitatively with the famous interpretations from Provence. Another important production area is Lake Garda, on the border between Lombardy and Veneto, where the famous Chiaretti wines are produced.

In all these territories the creation of musts with a pink colour is a centuries-old phenomenon linked to peasant traditions, when mixed white and red grapes were pressed together. However, their widespread diffusion started only after the Second World War, thanks to the entrepreneurial intuition of some Apulian producers, who achieved great international success. Since then, enological knowledge has been refined and today it is possible to follow three different production techniques.

It is worth bearing in mind that the most intuitive and obvious method, i.e. mixing white and red products to obtain the typical pink colour, is forbidden in almost all countries of production. The only exception permitted concerns the preparation of cuvées for Champagne and sparkling wines.

The most common and widespread technique for making rosé wine consists of brief maceration of the skins in the must, using red grapes. The intensity of the colour can thus vary in direct proportion to the time of contact between the skins and the liquid part of the must. A distinction is usually made between 'overnight' maceration, i.e. between 6 and 12 hours, and one-day maceration. In the first case, a softer, lighter colour is obtained, in the second an intense pink tending towards red, which can be defined, depending on its intensity, as cherry pink, the colour of cherries, or even claret pink. Many rosé wines from Abruzzo, but also from Puglia or Sicily, belong to this type.

A second technique, of French import, is called 'saigné', which means bleeding or draining. It simply consists of introducing part of the must from macerated red grapes, which can become a red wine expression, into another white must, which can then become rosé. This technique is practised by some producers of red or sparkling wines, both in Italy and France. A third solution is the use of pigmented red grapes that are poor in tannins, i.e. grapes with a coloured pulp, capable of yielding colour to the must without the need for maceration. This practice is rare and not very widespread because it is limited to the use of so-called dyeing grapes, including Nero d'Avola, Ancellotta, Cinsaut, Alicante, Montepulciano and Tintilia.



Mapping the Main Production Territories

Excellent expressions of rosé wine are now produced all over the world, but the most famous ones come from Mediterranean territories, those with the longest wine-making tradition. Prestigious labels are produced, for example, in the South of France, where the terroir is tempered by gentle sea breezes and populated by a large number of red grape varieties that lend themselves to rose wine making. Alongside Provence, where indigenous grape varieties such as Cinsault and Grenache are used, other important production areas are Languedoc and Roussillon, including the small commune of Tavel, which gives its name to an important appellation.

Italian rosé wines can be found all over our peninsula, but it is in the South that they are extraordinarily widespread. In Alto Adige, for example, we find some delicate and fresh interpretations of Lagrein and in the Lake Garda area pleasant and versatile labels of Chiaretto divided between Lombardy, where Groppello, Marzemino, Barbera and Sangiovese grapes are used, and Veneto, from Corvina and Rondinella. In recent years Tuscany has also been playing a leading role, through the use of international or Sangiovese grapes.

In the regions of Southern Italy we find some of the most famous expressions: from Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo, based on Montepulciano, to the rich and structured expressions of Gaglioppo in Calabria. A prominent place is occupied by Apulian rosé wines, based on Negroamaro in Salento or Nero di Troia. In recent years, thanks to their excellent quality, expressions from Sicily have also been enjoying great success, especially those based on Nerello Mascalese produced on Etna. In the rest of the island, Nero d'Avola grapes are used.

At the table, this type of wine is very versatile, able to lend itself to the most diverse combinations, from informal, everyday dishes based on cheese, pizza, fried foods, mushrooms and first courses to more sustained fish, shellfish and seafood dishes. Because of their great freshness and drinking pleasure, these wines are especially appreciated in the summer season or, all year round, as an aperitif, for romantic occasions or important fish-based dinners.

On Callmewine you can find a wide selection of labels, for sale online at the best prices. Discover our catalogue, choose your favourite bottles of great rosé wine and buy online at Callmewine at competitive prices.