In recent years, rosé wines have experienced growth in popularity. Once considered a summer wine, rosé has grown in popularity as a wine style that can be enjoyed year-round and for various occasions. One of the reasons for the growing popularity of rosé wines is their versatility. They offer a wide range of styles, from light and crisp to rich and complex, accommodating different preferences and pairing well with a diverse array of dishes. Rosé wines also appeal to those who love a refreshing wine option, with their vibrant fruit flavors and lively acidity. PDO rosé wines are now recognized for their quality and craftsmanship. Winemakers are investing more time and resources in producing rosé wines, paying careful attention to vineyard selection, grape varieties, and winemaking techniques. As a result, the overall quality of PDO rosé wines has significantly improved, elevating their status among wine enthusiasts. This article invites you to join me on a journey to discover the allure and versatility of PDO rosé wines, revealing why they have captured the hearts of wine enthusiasts worldwide.
Introducing the "Much More Than a Color" Campaign: Celebrating the Excellence of European Rosé Wines
Because PDO rosé is so versatile, intertwined with decades of professional winemaking skills, the Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Provence and the Consorzio Valtènesi started a captivating campaign to promote PDO rosé wines. This campaign is brought to life to captivate wine professionals and curious consumers. By educating consumers and professionals, and giving them new perspectives about this wonderful product, their knowledge about rosé will be broadened. There are two major wine regions that play a significant role in the production of PDO rosé. I will highlight those two regions in my blog today.
Provence (France) - A timeless haven for rosé enthusiasts
The baker mat of rosé I may add! Located amidst the beautiful landscapes of southern France, this enchanting region proudly boasts a winemaking heritage that stretches back for centuries. Côtes de Provence is divided into five distinguished subregions, accompanied by Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence and Coteaux Varois en Provence, all play their role. Three fundamental grape varieties can be found at most in the vineyards producing under these three main Provencal PDOs. These are Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah. In addition to them, other red grapes can be used, such as Mourvèdre, Tibouren, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Carignan. All contributing to the nuanced flavors and delicate hues of their PDO rosé wines. Don’t know how to recognize a Provence PDO rosé? Look for the AOP designation on the label. It stands for Appellation d’Origine Protégée, the French correspondent of the English PDO, which guarantees the origin and quality of the product.
Valtènesi (Italy) – A hidden gem of Lake Garda
In this picturesque region, vintners and winemakers have long cherished their rosé wines since the 16th century. The appellation of Valtènesi is intertwined with a timeless love story, passed down through the ages, which adds an enchanting touch to the production of their exceptional rosé wines. Valtènesi holds a distinctive position as the sole area where groppello, the signature grape variety, flourishes. This exceptional grape must constitute a minimum of 30% of the Valtènesi PDO rosé blend. Complemented by the graceful companionship of Marzemino, Sangiovese, and Barbera, these wines exhibit a remarkable harmony of flavors. Don’t know how to recognize a Valtènesi PDO rosé? Look for the DOP designation on the label. DOP stands for Denominazione di Origine Protetta (DOP), which is the Italian translation of "Protected Designation of Origin". Check the label for the PDO indication. It should clearly state "Valtènesi DOP" or "Denominazione di Origine Protetta Valtènesi" on the bottle.
PDO rosé wine and its quality label
PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) applied to rosé wines guarantees the wine's origin and its specific production regulations. It signifies that the wine is made from grapes grown in a specific region, following traditional methods, and meeting rigorous quality standards. The PDO label ensures that the wine embodies the unique characteristics of its origin and showcases the expertise of the winemakers in that region.
Understanding PDO rosé wines
The winemaking process for PDO rosé wines
The production of PDO rosé wines involves a delicate and careful winemaking process for extracting the desired color, aromas, and flavors from the grape skins while maintaining freshness and balance. Winemakers apply various techniques to achieve the elegant and refined style of rosé wines.
There are two primary methods used in the production of rosé under the PDO label in the mentioned regions:
1- Skin contact
Also known as maceration, this method involves allowing the grape skins to remain in contact with the juice for a short period, typically a few hours to a couple of days. The longer the contact, the deeper the color and flavor extraction. After maceration, the grape skins are separated, and the juice is fermented into a rosé wine.
2- Direct pressing
Instead of leaving the must in contact with the skins for a while, some winegrowers press the red grapes directly. The juice is then usually only light pink. It is processed immediately. By the way, the wineries in Provence like to use this method. If a rosé wine tastes particularly light, direct pressing was usually involved. This is because hardly any color pigments and aromas are extracted from the grapes. Direct pressing is particularly popular in Provence.
Now that you understand the basics of PDO rosé wines you can actively look for quality rosé wines in the supermarket, local wine shops, and on the internet. In the next blog, we will talk about common myths regarding taste and color.