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With just a little longer to go until Pink Fest, we want to keep talking about rosé. So how do the winemakers obtain the lovely spectrum of pink hues?
There are a few ways to do it.
Saignée, French for bled, is the most common technique used for still roses. Once the grapes are crushed, they are allowed to macerate for a short period of time. Highly pigmented grape varieties might only need a few hours to extract color from the skins, whereas grapes with less pigment may need up to a couple of days. The juice is then poured off of the skins and the rest of the fermentation and finishing process is identical to that of white wine.
Historically, this method was practiced to create must for an eventual red wine that was more highly concentrated because there is a higher skin to juice ratio. The rosé, you could say, was a very yummy byproduct. Now, however, rosé is made for its own sake as well.
Another method, used respectably in Champagne and Champagne-method sparkling wines, is blending finished red and white wine. (This however, is generally avoided in quality still rosé production.)
Vin Gris, French for grey wine, is made from grapes with lightly-hued skins. A great example of this is seen in the grape variety Pinot Grigio (Grey Pinot!). The grapes are actually a light red and the finished wine is tinted if allowed to macerate fully on the skins. This is the least common way of obtaining rosé wine.
But we believe in hands-on learning at Vino Vino, so come to Pink Fest on put all of this theory to the test!