Rosé for summer in the Swan Valley
2nd March 2018
There are whispers among wine enthusiasts in the Swan Valley, that rosé wine is making a comeback.
So, who can we thank for this comeback?
Well, apparently, West Australian winemakers have shifted from bleeding off excess red wine juice (saignée) to treating specific red grape varieties with great care, perfect timing and increasing expertise to create incredible examples of rosé wine.
Either we have them to thank, or people have finally woken up and realised how amazing rosé really is!
As a red wine drinker, myself, rosé has become my summer favourite – the perfect mix between white and red, and chilled for those hot summer days.
So, let’s get onto it, shall we?
What is Rosé wine?
As Rosé isn’t made from a specific grape like other wines, it is considered to be more of a style of wine, so to speak.
Rosé wines are made from the same grapes as red wines, but can range in colour from pigmented magenta, to golden copper. The colour is determined by two things: the type of grape used and the amount of time the skins were soaked in the juice.
Rosé can be still or sparkling, sweet or dry – talk about variety!
Provence in the South of France is widely known for producing exquisite examples of, lean and dry, styles of rosé wine, with our Western Australian region being known for more of a sweet red style of rosé. However, winemakers in the Western Australian region, have reported a recent style shift, to a more Provencal rosé wine.
How is Rosé wine made?
There are three methods used to produce rosé wine.
Blending a small portion of red wine with white wine to produce that pink colour is a method for producing rosé.
Although it’s no longer common for still rosé wines to be produced in this way, it is still used in the production of some sparkling rosés.
Saignée is the process of bleeding off some of the red juice early in the production of red wines.
When creating great examples of the style from this region, this method is not widely used.
3. Skin Contact
The most common method of producing rosé wines is the skin contact or maceration (soaking) method.
This involves lightly crushing red grapes so the juice and grape skins macerate, which imparts colour into the juice.
Depending on the level of colour the winemaker wants to achieve, this process can take anywhere from a couple of hours, to an entire day.
Rosé wine in the Swan Valley
Now that you know what rosé wine is and how it’s made, let’s find out where you can taste some in the Swan Valley.
As popular as rosé wine is becoming of late, not every winery produces it. We’ve listed some of the Swan Valley wineries that do, so you can take note of them before you head off on your rosé tasting adventure.
Sandalford Winery’s Margaret River Range includes a stunning bright pink rosé.
Due to the bold, dark pink colour and the winemaker’s reference to ‘strawberries and cream’, this one is definitely on the sweeter side.
Entopia Wines has a sweet tooth too.
Their pink blush rosé is made from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and is just perfect for our hot Western Australian summer months.
For those who prefer something a little less sweet, and a little more on the dry side, the Sittella sparkling rosé is for you.
Sittella’s sparkling rosé is produced from premium Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the Pemberton Region, and produced in the French traditional method of Saignée.
So, if you have not been converted to rosé as yet, it may be time to re-evaluate your thinking. Rosé is a serious style contender in the wine department, once again.
Top Gun Tours can take you away from Perth and into the Swan Valley, to all your rosé drinking destinations and more!
Head to our Wine Tours Page and book your Swan Valley Wine tour today!
Wines and tagged
guide for beginners, Rosé wine, Swan Valley on 2nd March 2018.
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