AND SO, HOW CAN YOU MAKE ROSE’ WINE?

by Davide Sarti

Discovering how wine is produced can help us to appreciate more deeply what we are drinking. And so, how is rosé wine made?

Mixing red wine and white wine?

Using white grapes together with red grapes?

From white grapes by adding colorants? From red grapes by removing colour?

First of all, there is no single method but there are different methods for different styles of wine.

If you have already downloaded the Simply Rosé Guide you will have noticed that we have already mentioned several methods, but now let’s make some clarity.

There are four main methods that you are interested in knowing:

1) Direct pressing

2) Short maceration

3) Saignée Rosé

4) Co-fermentation

Premise:

Have you ever tried to peel the grapes you eat in the summer? Whether it is red or white, you will notice that the pulp is always white inside.

This means that once the juice is obtained, the skins are able to release their colour to the juice. The longer the skins are in contact with the juice, the more colour is extracted.

1) Direct Pressing

It is the simplest method from which it is possible to obtain a rosé with lighter colour. The harvested grapes are red and just after being picked, it is gently pressed. The juice that comes out, percolating, extracts a bit of colour from the skins which instead remains trapped in the grids of the press: the juice will then be pink. It then proceeds to fermentation, trying to preserve all the freshness and aromas.

2) Short Maceration

This method is used to better adjust the extraction of colour. After pressing the grapes, the juice is left to macerate on the skins. If the contact time is less than 12 hours, it is commonly called “one-night wine”, if it is close to 24 hours “one-day wine”.

Have you already heard about a wine  like this? But you don’t remember which one??

Try reading Let’s go to Garda Lake!

Once the desired colour is obtained, the skins are separated and the alcoholic fermentation is started.

How rosé is made

The red grapes are picked and brought to the winery.

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Red grapesare crushed.

The must is pressed and the skins pull out after a short time, just to give a little bit of colour.

The must without skins fermented by yeasts.

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After has beenfiltered, the wineisbottled.

3) Saignée Rosé

Saignée is a French word meaning “to bleed” and it’s also describes a method of  rosé winemaking.

It is a very common technique to concentrate the colour and structure of a red wine.

“And what does red wine do now?”

I’ll explain.

Starting from a red wine tank, part of the juice is removed without skins. In this way the extracted juice will have taken aromas and colour from the skins during the maceration, but its colour will still be pink because the extraction has been interrupted.

“But what is the difference with short maceration?”

In this case, the purpose of the oenologist is not to produce a rosé wine, but to concentrate the aromas of red wine, which will continue to ferment, changing the ratio of must / peel. Saignée is a by-product of red winemaking that doesn’t want to be wasted. For this reason, the quality of the Rosés de saignée is much discussed.

In Provence, where rosé is a true cult, winemakers are convinced that only through the methods of direct pressing or short maceration can we obtain a rosé of quality and style.

4) Co-fermentation

No, we are not talking about mixing white wine with red wine. We are talking about grapes, the previous step.

  The co-fermentation occurs when we press together white grapes with red grapes. The shade of color that will be obtained is given by the relationship that is used of the same. Of course, red grapes must be a minimal amount to avoid too much… red colour!

Well my friends, now that you have the basics of production, go ask your favourite producers which technique they have chosen to use for their rosé.

But not to be caught unprepared … I leave you the last tips!

Alternative Methods

There are some exceptions that must be mentioned in order to not be made a fool

Blending

As mentioned above, mixing red and white wine is illegal. Nevertheless, there is a small exception concerning the production of some rosé sparkling wines like Champagne or Franciacorta. Blending consists of adding a small amount of red wine to  white wine so that it can help make the sparkling wine create the rosé color. However, this step must be done absolutely before the fermentation in the bottle takes place, which is the fermentation that makes our wine … sparkling wine!

“Eh the professor has arrived! So how is sparkling wine made? Do we put sparkling water to make bubbles? “

Do not rush! Here we are talking about the production of rosé, if you want to learn more about the production of sparkling wines, write a comment below or send us a message, we will be happy to answer all your questions!

Using grapes … pink

There are some types of grapes that have a color neither white nor red … I would say almost rose. With a grape of this colour, it will be possible to make a rosé wine by vinifying it.

Ramato

If you have visited the Friuli region in North-East Italy, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. The vinification of another type of grape, Pinot Grigio. This grape variety, of a pale purple colour, is macerated for up to 36 hours long, without the risk of an excessively dark color. Indeed, you will get a bright coppery color called “ramato”.

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