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The French Cycling Bicycle Gourmet - French Country Travel Life Film Maker and Author. Your non-snobby Gourmet Guide to food, wine travel and Lifestyle Adventure!

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French Rosé Wine – Viva La Pink!

French Wine from the vine is good anytime. (Likewise French Food!) But in Summer even more so. And since we are smack dab in the middle of said season – what better tribute could Da Bg share than a heart(and body)warming story of French Rosé?

Particularly, a family one.

The Blanc brothers, Didier and Robert, are third-generation vintners near the town of Uzes, in southern France. The area is known for chirping cicadas, olive trees and chilled rosé wine in the summertime.

Standing between the rows of vines at their vineyard, Saint Firmin, younger brother Didier pushes back the leaves to reveal clusters of plump grapes ripening under a blazing Mediterranean sun. Blanc says sales are exploding.

“We ran out of rosé last year, so we produced a lot more this year. And we’re going to run out again,” he says.

Rosé is made from grenache or cinsault grapes, and is certainly never a mix of red and white wine, says older brother Robert. He says a good rosé is pale, almost gray — the lighter, the better. And it’s easily quaffable.

“Since it’s so light, people have the impression that it has less alcohol and calories than red or white wine. But that’s not the case,” he says, laughing.

The brothers harvest their grapes at night, when it’s cooler. Once picked, rosé grapes in particular must have minimum exposure to heat and sun to limit oxidization.

A stiff wind whips down the rows of vines. It’s the legendaryMistral, a wind that blows up the Rhone valley. Didier Blanc says the Mistral is winemakers’ friend, because it combats the humidity and mildew that can hurt the vines.

The two men say their father used to put a few bottles of rosé aside just for his own pleasure.

A noisy bottling machine helps them put the cork on the last of their recent vintage. Robert Blanc says it’s the second year they’ve exported to the U.S. Since neither of them speaks English, Robert says it would have been hard to pierce the complicated American wine market. But he says importers have come looking for them.

“Yesterday we had a visit from another importer from Maine who was on vacation,” Robert says. “He loved the rosé. Maybe something will come of that!”

John Hames, director of the American Wine Society, says that in the ’70s and ’80s, Americans went for sweeter wines. But tastes are evolving, and appreciation for dry rosés is growing.

The label for La Vigne du Facteur— The Mailman’s Vine — a rosé produced by Serge Scherrer

“People discovered they were good food wines,” says Hames. “And at the same time, they were an alternative to the chardonnays and sauvignon blancs for just having a nice cool glass of wine in the evening on the patio.”

The rosé boom is transforming lives in this agrarian region. Serge Scherrer is a part-time postman, part-time winemaker. He was able to buy a parcel of land here 10 years ago because of the real estate crisis — just two days before the vines were to be ripped out. Now he’s realizing a lifelong dream, making 3,000 bottles of organic wine a year. He says he understands why rosé is a big hit.

“It’s simple to drink, it’s very fresh, and it’s not as strong as red or white wine,” Scherrer says..



What are ya Thinkin’?

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30 Responses to “French Rosé Wine – Viva La Pink!”

  1. genni graham says:

    just getting to this now (summer holidays dontcha know!) – yet an other great post….with a wine for all seasons!

  2. bill winters says:

    with ya on the “wine for all seasons 110% genni!

  3. ann barker says:

    the opening picture sets the mood perfectly!

  4. tom turner says:

    the take i get from this great post is that rosé is probably the best/easiest grape to grow and profit from from.

  5. jill morrow says:

    that’s exactly what i was thinking too tom!

  6. tom turner says:

    jill..if you’re reading my mind…tread carefully..not every thought is safe for family viewing! (lol!)

  7. tom turner says:

    jill….tread carefully with your physic powers…..not every thought of mine is safe for family viewing! (lol!)

  8. jill morrow says:

    tom..i’ll be certain to keep that (pun intended) “in mind” (lol)

  9. yann overs says:

    if i ever decided to grow wine..after seeing this..it’s rose for sure!

  10. barton clark says:

    interesting co_incidence that the name of the brothers who made rosé wine is

  11. allie green says:

    small world barton….isn’t it?

  12. henry fields says:

    nice to some you giving some time top rosé…..while not the most prestious of french wines, i’t’s probably one the most appreciated.

  13. henry fields says:

    right on henry!…and certainly one of the most well travelled!

  14. sharon marks says:

    in these difficult econmonic times worldwide..nice top know the borthers sales are “exploding.”

  15. frank andersly says:

    sharon..i hear ya…without trying to, they’re following the number one rule of marketing: “sell what people are buying!”

  16. wilson mattos says:

    frank…shouldn’t that be “sell what people WANT to buy?”

  17. frank andersly says:

    you have a point wilson. a small one.

  18. edgar thomas-rye says:

    whoaaa frank..do i detect a note of scarcasm?

  19. frank andersly says:

    edgar…there are many ways of looking at any subject…not all of them..shall we say…..”instructive?”

  20. edgar thomas-rye says:

    frank..don”t know if you’re a gentleman and a scholar (probably)..but you certainly aree a DIPLOMAT.

  21. most of us here in the usa – ,myself included – had no idea (until now) about rosè and the culture and historical tradtion around it. fascinating. thanks for continuing our wine education!

  22. wasn’t aware the mistral wind was something that would help wine growers. it sure doesn’t help cyclists if it’s not at your back!

  23. Brendan – With ya there big time! I*’ve had the great dis-plkeasure of
    getting too up close n’ personal with the mistral in my face. NOT at my back!

  24. cindy – I feel your pain. but – hey, one of the few downsides to cycling in france. n’est ce pas?

  25. Brendan – Absolutely right. Gotta keep things in perspective.

  26. dave victor says:

    Very informative post and an equally fine video accompanying it. Learned a lot.

  27. dave – ditto. never realized the grape skins played such an important part in the winemaking process.

  28. love the story about the part time Postman/winemaker. How many other countries can you inmagine that happening in?

  29. sven and garth – agreed. really a classic example of someone finding their bliss in the french countryside.

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