Rosé Wine: How rosé wine is made

Rosé wine is an amicable wine with an intense aroma that is produced by following a precise method that preserves and enhances the identity of the grapes. Here we will explore how this wine is produced, uncovering the art of rosé winemaking.

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How is rosé wine made? The production of rosé wine is unique and involves the vinification process of white wine applied to red skinned grapes. It is this technique that gives aromatic complexity, freshness, and elegance to the wine, allowing it to conquer the palate of both aperitif lovers and expert wine stewards alike.

Rosé winemaking techniques

The layered structure of rosé wine is therefore the result of its production method. It is not simply a blend of red wine and white wine, but rather a real winemaking technique that gives rosé wine its distinctive characteristics, including its pink color. So, how is rosé made? The most popular techniques are maceration and “saignée”, but blending and direct pressing are two other commonly used techniques.

Rosé winemaking: maceration

The most commonly used method to obtain rosé wine is by maceration. It all begins during the harvest as the red grapes intended for the production of rosé wine are specifically harvested in advance. In this way there is a greater balance between the acidic component of the grape and its sugar content. The grapes are then processed in the same way as red wines; after the pressing phase the skins are left to macerate in the must and it is here where the most important part of rosé winemaking takes place. Contrary to red winemaking, the contact between the skins and the must takes place for only a short period of time, which can vary from a few hours to two days. Time is a decisive factor in determining the aroma you want to give to the wine and, above all, the uniqueness of its final color. At this point, the rosé wine obtained follows the processes of white winemaking, fermenting inside steel and concrete containers before being bottled.

 

It is not recommended to let the rosé wine age in the bottle, but to enjoy a glass within two years of the harvest.

Rosé winemaking: saignée

Another method adopted in the vinification of rosé wine is “saignée” (bleeding), a technique that is generally used for Rosé Champagne. Within the first hours of the maceration process used for the production of red wine, where the grapes are in contact with the skins, a quantity of must is taken (between 20% and 30%) and set aside to ferment separately without the skins for the production of rosé wine.

Vinification differences: how aromas, flavors and colors of rosé wine change

The chosen method and the duration of maceration are the determining factors that create different varieties of rosé wine, affecting the intensity of the pink colour as well as the aromas and flavors.

For example, gray wines, rosé wines with lighter shades of pink, owe their colour to the fact that the grapes only undergo the pressing process and are not macerated in contact with the skins.

Then there are the “one night wines”, in which the distinctive features of the red grape variety encounter the gracefulness of white wines in a perfect balance. This variety of rosé wine is obtained through a brief maceration where the must is in contact with the skins for only six to twelve hours, a duration that is referred to metaphorically as “one night”. This is the typical amount of time it takes for most red grapes to release the delicate cherry colour that distinguishes rosé wines.

Each glass of rosé wine is therefore a journey to be enjoyed in the company of fish-based appetizers or with platters of cold cuts and cheeses. To find out more about how to pair food and wine, here are the pairings recommended by Cipriani Drinks to rediscover moments of revelry and the exaltation of flavors

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