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Raise your finger if you think rosé is not wine!

21 de March, 2019

Spring has arrived and with it the cold mornings and warm afternoons. The sun is setting later and the warmth you feel before it falls begs for more. And more can be just a glass of wine before starting to prepare dinner. But since it is already hot enough for a red and not hot enough for a chilled white, you decide to stay in the "middle"... and serve a rosé. It is then that someone says or thinks... But rosé isn't wine, is it? This cliché is now history, but not quite. It is still heard proclaimed here and there, if only out of fondness. Rosé is wine, yes! And if we look at the history of wine, we realize that any red wine was once nothing more than a rosé or claret.

Around 600 BC a group of merchants known as Phocenses from the Greek city of Foça in Asia Minor, traveled (carrying wine in their luggage!) through the territory that is now Turkey in search of new trade routes, until they found a beautiful Mediterranean bay where they settled. They called it Massalia - today, the city of Marseille - and there they began importing vines and producing wine.

The way it was produced was basic, but still current today. It consisted in harvesting the grapes, crushing them to obtain the juice - or must, in oenology - and letting it ferment. The so-called fermentation in an open spout, without any tanning, i.e. the solid parts of the grapes, did not ferment with their juice. Knowing that the color of the wine is extracted from the skins of the grapes, it is easy to see that the wines were nothing more than claret, wines with little color. When the Romans conquered Massalia and changed its name to Massilia in 121 BC, they called these wines "Vinum Clarum", coming from the first Roman province, Provence.

It wasn't until 1300 AD that, in the work "The Secret of Secrets," the Irishman Jofroi Waterford gives the name rosé to these light-colored wines. And only in 1680 is the term included in Pierre Richelet's French dictionary. This style of wine has always been associated with power and aristocracy. Both in the time when the Greeks ruled, and when Pope Clement V moved the Papal seat to Avignon, these were the wines in fashion. In 1682 the first wine called Rosé from Argenteuil, Paris, is finally presented at the court of Louis XIV. Years later, the Tavel region becomes the first AOC of Rosé. But today it is the AOC Provence that still dominates and leads "the fashion" of rosé wines.

We here produced for decades the best selling wine in the world, which was rosé. In the last 5 years we have made a silent revolution in the style of rosé produced in Portugal and the sales of these wines are growing, all over the world.

After this time travel, do you still think Rosé is not wine?

Hélder Cunha

My life is the wine

Alguma questão ou sugestão de tema? Por favor, escreva para: blogdoenologo@cascawines.pt

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