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Raise their finger who thinks rosé is not wine! 21 Mar '19

Spring is here and with it the cold mornings and the warm afternoons arrived. The Sun sets later and the heat asks for more. And more can just be a glass of wine before beginning to prepare dinner. But because it is already hot to drink a red wine but it is not hot enough to think about a cold white wine, you decide stay in the "middle.".. And serve a rose wine. It is at that moment that somebody says or thinks... But rosé is not wine, right? This cliché is long gone in history, but not totally. You can still hear someone proclaiming it here and there, sometimes just for silly. The rosé is wine, yes! And if we look at the history of wine, we noticed that any red wine was not, in time, more than a rosé or claret. 

During the years 600 BC a group of merchants known by Focenses from the Greek city of Foça in Asia, travelled (taking wine in the luggage!) through the territory that is today Turkey in search of new trade routes, until they find a beautiful mediterranean bay where they settled down. They called it Massalia - today, the city of Marseilles - and there they began to import vines and producing wine.

Its way of producing was basic, but still current today. It consisted of picking the grapes, squeeze them to obtain the juice – or grape must, in oenology - and let it ferment. It is called fermentation without skin maceration that means, the solid parts of the grapes do not ferment with its juice. Knowing that the colour of the wine is extracted from the skin of the grapes, we can easily understand that the wines were not more than claret, wines with little colour. When the Romans conquered Massalia and they changed its name for Massilia, in 121 BC, they called these wines "Vinum Clarum", originating from the first Roman province, Provence.

It was only in the year 1300 DC that, in the work "The secret of the secrets", that Irish Jofroi Waterford gives the name “rosé” to these wines of clear colour. And only in 1680 the term was included in Pierre Richelet's French dictionary. This style of wine was always associated with power and the aristocracy. This applies both to the time when the Greek dominated, as well as when Pope Clemente V moved the Papal residence to Avignon were these wines were very popular. In 1682 it is finally presented in Luís XIV court the first denominated rose wine originating from Argenteuil, Paris. Years later, the area of Tavel becomes the first DOC of rose wine. But today it is DOC Provence that still dominates and leads the “trend" of the rose wines.

As for us, during decades we produced the most sold wine in the world, a rose wine. In these last 5 years we have been making a silent revolution in the rose wine style produced in Portugal and the sales of these wines are growing, all over the world.

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


Hélder Cunha
The wine’s my life