Rosé: A Brief History

Rosé. What is it? Where did it originate? And, how is it made?

There is a common misconception that rosé is made with a combination of red and white grapes. Whilst this isn't common practice any more, it isn't exactly wrong and dates back to the origins of rosé.

Rosé is not actually a grape varietal but rather it is a winemaking style, thus rosé wines can be made from a whole range of grape varieties. 


There is no true origin date of rosé because, at the time, many red wines were the colour of today’s rosé. However, the premise dates back to ancient Greece, where they would make their wine with a combination of red and white grapes to 'dilute' the wine, as there was a common belief that drinking 'pure' wines was uncivilised. Some would even go as far as to add water to their wine to further dilute it. 

Then in the sixth century BC the Phoenicians brought grape vines to Massalia (modern day Marseille, France) and continued this practice. Later when the Romans made their way to Provence, there was already talk of this pink wine and they used their super connected trade networks to take these coveted pink wines from Massalia and made them popular around the Mediterranean. As a result, the south of France is considered the epicentre of Rosé even today.

It wasn't until the Middle Ages where modern winemaking techniques started to gain popularity to make rosé and other pink wines. 

How is Rosé Made?

The maceration or skin contact method

The most common practise when it comes to making rosé, is by the maceration or skin contact method, which is often referred to as the "French Method" . This is where grapes (of the winemakers preference) are harvested and processed with the clear intention of being made into a rosé. The grapes are pressed and the juice is left to sit on the grape skins for a short period of time, usually between 2-24 hours, which is where the colour of the wine comes from. The longer the grapes are left on the skins, the darker in colour the wine will be. From there the juice is used to make the wine. 

The saignée or bleeding method

This is when a part of the must under maceration for making a red wine is drawn off from the tank. The separated juice is used to make a rosé with a light colour. The remaining must in the tank then gives a more concentrated and darker red wine. The saignée method used to be common in Italy, though nowadays more and more producers are starting to use the “French” method.

The blending method

This method means that a smaller portion of red wine is added to a tank containing white wine. It is not a commonly used method today but was rather more popular in the past. 

Modern Day Rosé

Today Rosé continues to grow in popularity and is a beloved wine around the globe, especially in warmer months.

In 2019, global rosé consumption totalled 23.5 million hectolitres, a figure that continues to rise, year after year (35% of this was just in France alone!). This equates to about 1 in 10 bottles of wine consumed across the globe being rosé! 

Modern rosé is now available in a variety of different styles to suit all tastes; so whether you like it dry or sweet; sparkling or still, there's sure to be a rosé out there for you!

Our Rosé

Luscious, layered, and enticing, the Provenance Rosé delights with its perfect pink hue.

Crafted from the classic Mataro and Grenache varieties, it reveals enchanting aromas of strawberry, peach and delicate red florals, accompanied by hints of spice. The delectable palate delivers a dry, textural, and exquisitely balanced experience.

For best results enjoy well chilled in the company of good friends.

Shop 2023 Provenance Rosé

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