How is Rose Wine Made Common Methods

How is Rose Wine Made? Common Methods

Generally, there are 4 methods. They are MACERATION, SAIGNÉE, DIRECT PRESS, and BLENDING.

Depending on who you talk to, you’ll get a different answer as to which is the “best” way to make it. Essentially, winemaking doesn’t really have any hard-and-fast rule to what is “correct.” Despite the fact that there are general instructions for how to proceed, winemaking is a beautiful combination of art and science. Everyone will interpret things differently, and that is acceptable. As the saying goes, “ask four different winemakers a question, you’ll get 16 different answers.”

The flesh of red grapes is also white. Red wines get their colour by being fermented with their skins in a process that takes anywhere between a few days and several weeks. During this time, the grape skins release both colour, flavour precursors and phenolic compounds, i.e. tannins, into the grape juice, or must. Red wine remains after the must is pressed.

For the most part, rosé is made in the following ways…

Maceration Method

Red grapes are used to make rosé using the most popular production technique, maceration.

The red wine grapes are picked, taken to the winery, and crushed there in order to extract their juices.

After being crushed, the red grapes are macerated, or soaked, for a brief period of time to allow the grape skins to affect the juice.

Depending on the type of rose being produced, this soak may last anywhere from a few hours to 48 hours.

For instance, Provence-style rosé wines made in this way will only be macerated for a very brief time, just long enough to achieve the wine’s light pink stain.

Since a wine’s color is derived from the grape skins, the longer the skin and juice are macerated, the darker the wine will be. As a result, the dark color has nothing to do with sweetness!

Additionally, the wine may have more texture and body as a result of the prolonged skin contact.

So if you taste a darker rosé, it might have a fuller body and be more complex than the light pink varieties. Despite the fact that it’s not always the case, I typically find this to be the case.

One of the simplest types of wine to pair with food is rosé, and an extended maceration may enable the wine to go well with a wider variety of food pairings.

The juice is extracted from the skins and fermented to make rosé wine after the skins have macerated to the winemaker’s satisfaction.


Directly translating to “bleeding”, the saignée (“san-yay”) method involves bleeding off some juice from a vat that will be used to make red wine.

The limited skin contact at the beginning of the red wine production results in the color and structure of the rosé wine, which is made from this juice that has been bled off. The remaining juice will be used to make red wine.

Compared to other styles, wines made using the Saignée method are typically more complex and full-bodied.

Consider serving these with Asian or barbecue dishes.

Direct Press Method

Making rosé in the direct press method is often referred to as “intentional,” or “true” rosé. Red wine grapes that are fully ripe are harvested, brought to the winery, and their juice was squeezed out.

Fun fact: Grape juice is a clear liquid. Both red and white grapes fall under this category. Pigments found in grape skins are what give grapes their color. Every time a grape is squeezed, its exterior skin is in contact with the juice that is released. The pigment in the grape’s skin is then used to color the juice. Because the juice-to-skin contact is so swift, only a small amount of the pigment is extracted, giving the juice a lighter shade of pink.

Remember that some winemakers might decide to add some red wine at the very end to get the color they want.

How is Rose Wine Made Common Methods
How is Rose Wine Made? Common Methods

Blending Method

Today’s winemakers also make rosé by blending several liquids, much like how the ancients made rosé by diluting their still red wines with water. But they dilute with white wine rather than water.

It is common practice in the Champagne region of France to produce a white wine from the grape of your choice, frequently Chardonnay, and then blend in a small amount of still red wine made of either Pinot Noir or the darker and tannic Pinot Meunier.

Blending White Wine With a Red Wine Enables More Flavors…

Sometimes, red and white grapes are macerated and pressed together. Interest also stems from what happens after maceration, as some estates only use the free-run juice. Depending on the desired color and style, some people keep the free-run juice and the pressed juice separate before blending them together. Some rosé wines are by-products of red winemaking: some of the juice in a fermenting red wine tank is bled off while still pale and then fermented as a rosé. Since the red grapes are harvested at the ideal point of ripeness for red wine rather than rosé, this concentrates the red wine and leaves pink must that produces a different style of rosé.

Read about Is Rose Wine Sweet?

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