Rosé All Day: How We Make Rosé Here at Burnt Bridge Cellars

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We all know and love drinking rosé, but how is it made? Well interestingly enough, it can be made four different ways, with many different red grape varieties! Some of the most common grape varieties used in making rosé are: Grenache, Sangiovese, Syrah, Mourvedre, Pinot Noir, Carignan and Cinsault. However, any red grape can be made into rosé! Most are bright in acidity, and light in body, and alcohol. This year our rosé is made from 50% Grenache, 48% Mourvedre and 2% Syrah.

There are Four ways to make a Rosé:
1️⃣ Limited Skin Maceration: The most popular! Grapes are crushed, and the juice is left in contact with the skins, but, only for a short period of time — roughly 6-48 hours. The longer the skins are left on, the deeper the color. If you drink red wine, you may know this is the way it’s made, but the skins are left on during the entire fermentation process, which could be weeks to months for red wine! Rosé is made a little differently, and the skins are only left in contact with the juice for a short amount of time. You may notice that your rosé can progress from a lighter orange-ish pink to a deep pink. This color difference depends on how long the skins are left on. This is a popular method in France.

2️⃣ Direct Pressing: Allowing the grape juice to have contact with the grape skins for a very short period of time and pressing to remove the skins. This is similar to the limited skin maceration, but the difference is the skins are pressed off directly.

3️⃣ Saignée (san-yay) Method: The winemaker vinifies a red wine and early in the maceration process, first few hours in, and “bleeds” (removes) some juice from the tank. This is a popular method in Napa and Sonoma. This method concentrates the rosé’s flavor. It is a very rare method and only account for about 10% of rosés made. Here, at Burnt Bridge Cellars, our winemaker, Ben Stuart, used this method to make our 2018 Rosé!

4️⃣ Blending: actually prohibited in Europe, this is the technique of blending together a red and a white wine! Typically a little bit of red wine is blended into a vat of red wine. You don’t need a lot, only about 5% red wine to make the blended rosé. A lot of red goes a long way when mixed with white wine. Here at Burnt Bridge in the tasting room we “attempted” to make our own delicious blended rosé. If you blend a dash of our Grenache, either our 2015 or 2016 into the Carte Blanche the result is a vibrant pink wine that is bursting with strawberry and citrus notes! We actually enjoyed creating a tasting it!

When drinking rosé the primary flavors you may be tasting are: strawberry, citrus, flowers, melon, and a tinge of greenness.

Our 2018 Rosé is a summer favorite, that’s going to go fast! We have 40 cases this year. This year’s rosé is made from 50% Seven Hills Grenache, 48% Seven Hills Mourvèdreand 2% Les Collines Syrah using the saignee method. This means that a portion of the red wine juice that is fermenting “bleeds off” and ferments on its own to produce rosé! This rosé is light coral in color with notes of raspberry, strawberry and kiwi. Light-medium acidity, light body.

We hope you enjoy!