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The Four Ways of Making Rosé

Sip sip hooray, it’s time for Rosé! We all seem to love the pink stuff, but how does it find its way into your glass? There are four standard ways of creating the beautiful beverage.

The method we use at Merry Cellars is direct pressing. The red grapes are thrown in the press straight from the vineyard and are not crushed or destemmed first. The only contact between the juice and skins is inside the press, and for us here, the process takes about 135 minutes.

With limited skin maceration, the grapes are crushed and destemmed and the must is left alone to soak. The contact time between the anthocyanin in the grape skins and the juice is what imparts color, so the longer the soak the more intense the pigmentation. Usually the juice is pressed off skins within 6 to 48 hours.

Saignée is the method of removing juice from a red wine ferment. It is very similar to LSM but is more gentle, as usually only a fraction of the free run is separated for Rosé.

Blending is possibly the most straight-forward way to make Rosé, and it’s done exactly how you expect: red wine plus white wine equals pink wine! This is a good way to use up a lot of excess white wine, as it doesn’t take much red added to the mix to change the color drastically.

The method of blending is widely not considered to be as prestigious as the other techniques and is prohibited in most European wines of protected designation of origin (PDO)—except for in the most high maintenance region of all, Champagne.

Regardless of how it is made, we are always excited for Rosé season. Something about how it sparkles in the glass when you’re enjoying one of the first warm sunny days of springtime just feels good. Save us a seat on the patio!

 

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Maureen O'Callaghan

Assistant Winemaker

Hi my name is Maureen!
I attended wine school at the Institute of Enology and Viticulture at Walla Walla Community College from 2014-16. Professionally I started out in the industry on the growing side, working as a harvest intern and then viticulturist on Red Mountain. I joined Merry Cellars as the assistant winemaker in 2021.

Maureen O 'Callaghan

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