In Provence, getting to grips with rosé

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A quick post from the road. For the last few days I have been in Provence, trying to understand more about rosé. The popular conception about rosé is that it’s not a serious wine. It’s all about marketing, people say.

Jean-Francois Ott of Domaines Ott

Jean-Francois Ott of Domaines Ott

To a degree, Provence rosé is a tremendous wine marketing success story. But when you see the soils, you realise that there are some serious terroirs here. There are diverse soil types, with the two main themes clay/limestone and schist, depending on where you are. And there’s a wide range of climatic zones. The two together create terroirs that mark their imprint on the wine if the winemaking will allow it.

Limestone/clay soils

Limestone/clay soils

Rosé is also quite a technological wine. Making good rosé requires skill in the cellar, just as making good Champagne relies on skilled winemaking. But, as with Champagne, terroir is intrinsic to the final product. Anyone who claims that terroir is irrelevant in Champagne or rosé, or that these wine styles are all about marketing, needs to open their mind, read a little, and go to visit the regions.

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Barrel cooling mechanism at Esclans

Over the next few days, I’ll be writing some in depth reports of the visits. I have learned a lot over the last few days.

Romain Ott, Chateau Leoube

Romain Ott, Chateau Leoube

Alexis Cornu, Chateau de Berne

Alexis Cornu, Chateau de Berne

Guiilame Harant, Ch des Martinettes

Guiilame Harant, Ch des Martinettes

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