Brief history of Rosé
Wine makers have been making rosé wine for centuries in Provence, France’s oldest wine making region. But it was only round about the 14th century when kings and aristocrats started taking a keen interest in the pale wine that the real history of rosé began. The tourist industry in Provence increased over the years and so did rosé wine production. Today rosé wine producers have their own center, The Rosé Center for Research and Experiment the only dedicated centre for Rosé wine in France. Set up in 1999, in Vidauban in the heart of Provence, the Centre de Recherche et d’Expérimentation works directly with producers enhancing the quality of rosé wine from Provence through training courses, research and development.
Facts and Figures
Provence is France’s leading wine region specializing in rosé wine. According to the Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vin (CIVP) also known as the Provence Wine Council:
- Provence produces 35% of AOP rosé wine: AOC assures authenticity and quality.
- Around 15 million liters of Rosé wine from Provence is exported yearly: exports to the U.S have increased by 40% by volume and value from November 2012 to November 2013.
Rosé wine from Provence is not a mixture of red and
Rosé wine is make from red grapes but produced differently from red wine. Rose producers from Provence quite rightly went up in arms a few years ago when the European Commission in Brussels argued that rosé could be made simply by mixing red and white wine. The draft which luckily did not go through would have allowed any European wine maker to mix red and white wine and call it rosé. Imagine the anger of the wine producers who have been struggling for years to give rosé wine the recognition it so deserves.
Versatile and easy to please
You don’t have to be a wine snob to appreciate rosé. There’s no need to impress with elaborate vocabulary, no swirling of glasses or allowing the air to breathe with rosé. Simply raise your chilled glass and enjoy the aroma of this festive versatile juice. A well balanced Rosé not only goes well with Provencal cuisine but also complements a lot of dishes. And with Rosé becoming trendier and trendier, more and more of us Southerners are having it as an aperitif.
You don’t have to look too hard to find good Rosé wine
The Provence region is well known for its diversity, with different landscape, valleys, altitude and climate; even the soil is different. Sun, soil, landscape and climate all play a part in this terroir. You can't visit the hundreds of private vineyards in the South, and taste them all, but try to get to a couple of local vintners where you’ll learn lots; get them to explain how they get the different colors of rosé.
You can even buy rosé in bulk from the wine cooperatives, outlets in most towns and villages where you can get excellent quality wines at reasonable prices.