Inspired by the French model: rosé wine from South Africa
Rosé wines are becoming increasingly popular all over the world. From delicate shades of pink, to salmon pink, to bright pink, it is hard to imagine wine shelves without rosé wines today. Rosé originated in France, more precisely in Provence, where French wineries used their remaining stocks of red wine grapes for their own consumption. The former marginal product developed into an absolute classic. Rosé wine from South Africa has been in existence since 1949. Following the example of the Provence rosé, Bernhard Podlashuk – owner of the Bellingham winery - produced his first own rosé and thus set the cornerstone of a success story.
The red grape varieties Mourvèdre, Pinot Noir, Cinsault, Grenache Noir, Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon are often used to produce rosé wines. These are also popular in South Africa. While Sangiovese is particularly appreciated in Italy, rosé wines from Germany are often made from the Burgundy varieties: Spätburgunder, Dornfelder and Portugieser. Rosé is classically produced as a blend of different red grape varieties. However, it is different with the two varieties Weißherbst and Blanc de Noir. Rosé wines that can call themselves Weißherbst are absolutely single-varietal, which means that they consist of one hundred percent of one grape variety from very specific vineyard sites in Germany. A Weißherbst is often also called Blanc de Noir (from the French "white from black"). In this case, however, only blue grapes are used, the inner fruit of which is light in colour. Due to a particularly gentle pressing process, no colouring substances from the skins get into the juice, giving a Blanc de Noir a very light colour.
The making and storage of rosé wine
Rosé wines are made using the white wine method, while its components are obtained from red wine grapes. There are three main methods of making the pink seduction:
1. The maceration method: about the most common method, in which the grapes are pressed to allow the juice, aromas and colourings to escape. The resulting mash is then left to stand for just a few minutes or hours.
2. The saignée method: a method of production that translates from French as "bleeding", in which the red grapes are also lightly pressed and then macerated with the skins for a short time. Typically, fermentation would now continue for red wines, but here in particular, about ten to twenty percent of the resulting juice is now extracted for rosé wine production and further vinified in the manner of white wine production.
3. The direct pressing method: wines that have a particularly light pink colour are usually made by direct pressing. Instead of leaving the skins and must in contact, the grapes are pressed directly and processed immediately.
The result of these processes are rosés that stand for freshness, fruitiness and uncomplicated drinking pleasure. It is precisely these special characteristics of rosés that give an indication of how the wine should be stored. Rosé wine should be drunk as young as possible, as the fruit aromas are most pronounced in the first few years. It is therefore advisable not to store a rosé wine for longer than one to two years, also because of its low tannin content.
Rosé wine - fruity fresh drinking pleasure from South Africa
South African rosé is no longer just a popular summer wine. Its fruity, fresh lightness with a fine acidity make it an ideal accompaniment to food that can be drunk all year round. The demand for rosé wines is continuously increasing in South Africa as well as internationally. From the early beginnings of rosé production, South African winemakers developed first-class premium rosé wines that bring their own personal touch from the Cape and are of exceptional quality. In addition to the typical French grape varieties, South Africa's national grape, Pinotage, is also found again and again in the pale pink wines, which are also often referred to as "blush". Especially the single-varietal L'Avenir Glenrosé made from Pinotage is an absolute pioneer when it comes to the elegance and perfection of a South African rosé, which convinces with an extremely fine texture and crisp acidity. The Delaire Graff Cabernet Franc Rosé is also a first-class example of the unique taste of South African rosés, which is particularly expressed in the form of candy floss or strawberry notes. Tokara Rosé, on the other hand, displays the typical aromas of intense melon and raspberry, while Peter Falke PF Range Blanc de Noir, for example, has a soft mouthfeel and absolute freshness at the same time.
All these characteristics make the rosé wine a perfect terrace wine, but also an exceptionally good companion for dishes such as tapas, antipasti or light salads. Rosé does not only pair well with salmon, grilled prawns or a juicy butter chicken – especially the full-bodied varieties from South Africa or Provence get a denser structure due to the hot and Mediterranean weather and can thus also be combined great with a vegetable curry with coconut milk.