04/04 2019

How to make a rosé in Provence ?


We tell you all about the secrets of making a good Côtes de Provence rosé wine!

We have all heard it before "Rosé come from the mixture of red wine and white wine". Whether in the form of a question or a statement, this popular belief dies hard, but it is obviously false ! The original rosé remains a wine in its own right.

So where does it get its delicate and attractive pink color ? Our Var vineyard gives you all the secrets of rosé wine !

Provence Rosé wine : Focus on a delicate color that is difficult to obtain !

To fully understand how the color of a rosé wine is born, you must first know that the natural pigments that color the wine are concentrated in the skin of black grapes.

The secret of its color, its aromas, its elegance lies in this carefully controlled intimacy between the pulp and the skin of black grapes.

The vatting must be lon enough for the red pigments to give the wine its rosé color, but not too long so that the tannins do not deprive it of its elegance and suppleness. The art of the Provençal winegrower therefore consists in mastering this delicate vatting which sometimes only lasts a few hours.

Rosé Château Saint Pierre (83)

How do you create the color of a rosé from Provence in Les Arcs ?

In the Var and in the other departments of Provence, a godd rosé is produced according to a certain tradition. To obtain the rosé color which make the success of this wine so appreciated, especially during the beautiful days of summer, certain crucial steps must be observed.

It is this succession of rigorous actions that give the wine not only its delicate color but also its fresh and particular aroma.


1st step : Destemming or the art of removing stalks and destemming grapes

When the black grape harvest arrives at the winery, we proceed to destemming. This step consists of separating the berries (grapes) from the stalk (woody part of the bunch). This action makes it possible to keep only the berries without giving the wine a bitter vegetal or herbaceous taste that is little appreciated when tasting.

Without brutality the destemming is carried out to obtain a delicious berry nectar.


2nd step : crushing the berries


After destemming, it's time for crushing !

Once the berries are collected, they are then trodden. This is the first winemaking operation that was carried out on the feet in the past. Today we have machines that allow a uniform crushing similar to traditional grape crushing.

The grape berries burst and release the pulp, skin, seeds and grape juice. This set is called the must.

To create the rosé we then have the choice between two techniques based on an elaborate knowledge..


1 / Rosé de Saignée wine (maceration)

The must will then macerate in a vat between 2h and 20h at a controlled temperature ranging from 16°C to 20°C. Thus the pigments and aromas contained in the skin of the grape mix with the rest.

The must is then pressed to separate the solid part called marc (skin, seed) from the juice which is put alone to ferment at low temperature (18 to 20°C) to preserve the aromas as much as possible. Unlike red wine, it is this short skin maceration that gives rosé wine its color and aromas.

With this method, the rosé-colored wines that will come out will have a fairly sustained color (raspberry, redcurrant), with a beautiful aromatic complexity and benefiting from a great fullness in the mouth.

Example of bleeding rosé wine : Our rosé wine cuvée Baptiste


2 / Rosé wine from direct pressing

Another technique for obtaining a beautiful rosé wine : direct pressing.

This technique consists of directly squeezing the whole or destemmed bunches and immediately putting the clear juice to ferment. The rosé wines, often quite light in color (salmon, flesh) will have great aromatic finesse and great lightness.

Example of wine by direct pressing : Our rosé wine cuvée Marie

The color chart of rosé wines from Provence :

Peach, melon, mango, pomelo, tangerine or redcurrant... No, we are not talking about fruits but indeed about the color chart of the different colors of rosés wine from Provence. These names are the 6 main colors of rosés in our region and they are listed in order of consumer preference. This color chart is a reference, useful for producers and consumers alike, which makes it possible to precisely qualify the color of a rosé wine.

As you will have understood, contrary to popular belief, rosé wine requires real knowledge to obtain a quality vintage, full of flavors and delicacy. to help you see mor clearly, Château Saint-Pierre invites you to come and taste its rosé Provence wines directly at the winery in Les Arcs near to Draguignan!

Visit our winery


And for those who unsderstand better in pictures, here is an infographic on the complete process of making rosé wine :


Discover our rosé wines produced directly in our winery in Les Arcs, near Draguignan, Lorgues and Le muy. Our team of enthusiasts awaits you on the family vineyard to help you discover our rosé, white and red cuvées AOP Côtes de Provence.

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