I just bottled my first rosé. With more grapes in the 2015 harvest than I could fit in my red wine fermenting tub, making a rosé was part necessity, part curiosity.
As wine lovers know, a rose is produced from red grapes using white wine techniques. So rather than adding yeast and beginning fermentation with the grape skins, seeds, and a few stems intact – as you would for a red wine – the goal is to extract just the juice from the very beginning.
So the process was fairly simple. Immediately after picking, I crushed and de-stemmed the grapes. I then placed them in my basket press and pressed out the juice. The juice went immediately into glass carboys where I added yeast and watched the magic happen.
The fermentation took longer than it does for my reds (2 weeks versus 5-6 days) as the rosé begins with slow bubbling, then turns into a foamy froth, before the yeast runs its course.
With the alcohol created, it was just a matter of waiting for the solids to settle over the winter months. During this time, I racked the wine several times, leaving sediment and tartaric acid crystals behind, until the wine was clear.
No oak aging, no malolactic fermentation. No muss, no fuss.
Just bright fruit and good acidity…spring in a bottle and the promise of good days ahead.