5 Things You Didn't Know About Rosé - French Wine School

5 Things You Didn't Know About Rosé


At French Wine School, we pay special attention to rosé– since it originated in France!  France is home to several wine regions making excellent rosé, by far the most famous is Provence. 

During our time in wine education, we’ve come across a few common misconceptions about our favourite pink drink so let’s set them straight. Below are five things that might surprise you about rosé.


1. Rosé is the oldest known wine in the world.

In 600 BC, the Phocaeans (Greeks from Asia Minor) brought vines to Massalia, which is modern day Marseille. They started cultivating the vine for wine in Europe. A likely accident in the rush to get this popular wine bottled, the ancient Greeks simply squished juice out of red grapes which naturally seeped the colour out too. As it turned out, a lovely pink emerged with the shade varying based on how long the batch had been in contact with grape skins. 


2. Provence is where rosé was born — but it didn’t stop there.

Provence is still the only region in the world to dedicate itself to crafting rosé and have been doing it successfully for 2,600 years. (Woah!) While Provence is definitely the benchmark for superior rosé, it’s become so popular, there are wine regions across the globe eager to make their own version. Oregon, South Africa, Greece, Australia and many other countries are trying their hand at producing fragrant, more complex rosés and many doing a great job of it. Try some and make sure to find out what grapes they use.


3. Rosé in Provence is made from a blend of red grapes.

Many people have thought rosé to be a blend of red and white grapes,(particularly the many styles with a delicate pink colour), but in Provence, all rosé is made from a blend of red grapes. The colour, as we mentioned, is from the quick juice pressing and how long it stays in contact with the skins.


4. The colour doesn’t relate to complexity or sweetness.

It’s often believed that the paler the pink, the drier the rosé will be, but this isn’t necessarily the case. One thing that marks Provençal rosé is its lighter colour—a delicate pink that can sometimes verge on clear. But that doesn’t mean Provençal rosé lacks complexity, thanks to the many grape blends used in its production such as mourvedre, grenache, syrah (shiraz) and cinsault. You can get anything from classic berry and citrus fruit, fragrant florals and racy minerality. So in fact, the colour only has to do with how long the grape skins stay immersed in the juice during the fermentation process: The deeper the hue, the longer the contact.


5. Rosé is not just a light summer wine

Although we acknowledge rosé is perfect for long summer days. It’s not only the preferred aperitif wine in Provence, its also a perfect match to many dishes year round. You need only to look at the character of grapes in a Provencal blend, to know what a delightful rosé wine awaits you.


Hopefully, you learned a few things you didn’t know about rosé! Interested in learning more? Enroll in our Provence online course and learn the whole story. For more information click here.