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Tickled Pink

Rosé’s Journey Through Time

Rosé wine, with its enchanting hues and delicate flavours, has transcended its status as a mere summertime indulgence to become a year-round favourite for wine enthusiasts. So let’s pass through time and uncork the past to explore the fascinating history and evolution of rosé.

Origins: A Pop of Pink in the Winemaking Tradition

The origins of rosé wine can be traced back to ancient winemaking traditions. Picture this: grape skins allowed to mingle with the juice during fermentation, infusing a subtle pink hue. This technique, known as maceration, laid the foundation for the delicate blush wines we cherish today.

As we dive into the pages of history, we find South African winemakers embracing the production of rosé, offering an array of styles spanning from pale pinks reminiscent of a blush on a spring morning to deeper salmon tones that echo a captivating African sunset. In the early days, these wines often had a touch of sweetness, catering to the palates of the time.

Rise and Fall: A Rosy Path Through the Centuries

Rosé held particular favour in the opulent 14th century court of the Sun King,  Louis XIV. Eager to emulate the taste of their monarch, courtiers and nobles embraced the rosés of Provence as a symbol of sophistication and refinement. The image of Louis XIV, surrounded by the splendour of Versailles, toasting with a glass of pale pink rosé, remains a captivating glimpse into the early chapters of rosé’s rise to prominence and Provence’s status for the centuries to come.

As the 18th and 19th centuries unfolded, rosé experienced its share of highs and lows. It remained in favour in royal courts and among the aristocracy, but alas, like a fizzy bubble bursting, its popularity waned as sweeter wines fell out of fashion. But worry not, for rosé would have its shining moment once again.

The Mid-20th Century Rosé Renaissance

The latter half of the 20th century marked a glorious renaissance for rosé. Winemakers around the world, inspired by the efforts of the French, began tinkering with various grape varieties and production techniques, introducing a new era of diversity in rosé styles. Provence, with its celebrated array of elegantly pale expressions, continued to be a guiding light, inspiring winemakers near and far.

Modern Innovations: Crafting the Perfect Blush

Fast forward to the present day, and we find ourselves marvelling at the advancements in winemaking technology and the international collaborations that have further perfected the art of crafting South African rosé. Winemakers now have an arsenal of shiny tools at their disposal, from stainless steel tanks for precise temperature control to gentle pressing methods that preserve those delicate aromas we cherish.

But the realm of South African rosé extends beyond traditional boundaries. South Africa has wholeheartedly embraced the rosé revolution, adding our unique touch and terroir. From the bountiful vineyards of Stellenbosch to the picturesque beauty of Paarl, South Africa has woven itself into the rich tapestry of rosé, each sip a story of its African origin.

The Pink Renaissance Today

Now, cast your gaze upon the present day, where South African rosé stands as a symbol of sophistication and versatility. Its popularity extends beyond sunny afternoons, becoming a staple for celebrations, dinners, and casual get-togethers throughout the year. The vibrant and diverse world of South African rosé offers something for every palate – from the crisp and bone-dry to the lusciously sweet, each bottle inviting you to savour the beauty of the rainbow nation in every sip.

Nederburg’s The Winemasters Carignan Grenache Rosé

A vivid blend of Grenache and Carignan picked from parcels scattered across Wellington, Darling and Swartland has allowed Nederburg to produce a versatile rosé that pairs equally well with food and company. It’s bright red fruits and lively acidity makes it well suited for fresh and vibrant meals. Best enjoyed in good company with an array of shared plates.