Rose wine consumption has increased dramatically over the years with world consumption expected to rise by 7.5% in 2015. In Cyprus rose wine consumption is also following a similar trend. All wineries are producing it and interestingly more and more Cypriot consumers are accepting it as an all-around year drink.
Rose wines are often light and fruity. You can either make them dry or sweet, sparkling or still. Rose wines are always made from red grapes and mixing white with red wine to achieve a rose color is not considered the appropriate way to produce it. Any red grape variety can be used, from the international Cabernet Sauvignon to the magnificent and unique Maratheftiko.
Rose wines are treated just like white wines during their making with the main difference being the time the juice spends with the grape skins.
In rose winemaking we have a limited time between crushing our red grapes and separating our grape juice from the skins. The skins are the ones that give wine its color. Therefore leaving the skins for a sufficient amount of time with the grape juice would lead to a red wine, as we decrease the amount of time we obtain a light orange or white wine. The winemaker has to separate the grape juice from the skins exactly at the point where the grape juice is rose. Usually this takes only a few hours, but depending on the grape variety and temperature this may vary.
In rose wines we want to produce wines that are light and fruity so we do not want the grape juice to come in contact with the skins and seeds for a long period of time. Skins and seeds are the main source of tannins in wine. Tannins are the ones that give you that dry mouth feel sensation when you drink red wine or a strong cup of tea. Tannins are extremely important for red wines but are not as welcome for rose wines.
To avoid this tannin uptake winemaker usually produce rose wines only from ‘‘free run’’ juice. This is the juice extracted from the grapes naturally without the use of a press. Free run juice is more aromatic and produces wines more fruity than the‘’press run’’ juice.
Once our desired color is achieved the remaining winemaking process follows similarly to the white wine production.