Rosé sales soaring in France

23rd April, 2014 by Lucy Shaw

Sales of rosé have tripled in France over the last 10 years with the style rapidly gaining in popularity as snobbish attitudes towards pink wine soften.

As reported by The Telegraph, according to a recent survey, nine out of ten French wine drinkers now enjoy the occasional glass of rosé.

For the first time in history, nearly a third of the wine produced in France last year was rosé, with white wine only accounting for 17% of total production in the country.

The rise in popularity of rosé in France is being put down to a thirst for the style from open minded younger consumers who don’t have the same hang-ups about pink wine as their predecessors, along with a rise in quality of French rosé across the board due to stricter selection and improved winemaking techniques.

“It’s not that rosé is succeeding as never before, it’s society that’s changing,” Provence winemaker Olivier Nasles told The Telegraph.

“People under 50 want instant pleasure. To appreciate rosé, you don’t need to know a lot about appellations or which years are best. It’s much more accessible,” he added. 

Francois Millo, head of the Provence Wine Council, believes the strides the region is making in technical developments is leading to rosés of increased complexity “with notes of citrus, tropical fruit and berries” that hold consumers’ interest.

The Telegraph reports that, enticed by the burgeoning market, French winemakers are upping their rosé production in order to ride the wave of the trend.

Rosé production is on the rise in Bordeaux, with Château Brown in Pessac-Léognan releasing its inaugural 2012 rosé onto the market last year.

Speaking to the drinks business at the time of the release, Jean Christophe Mau of Château Brown said he believes Bordeaux has the ability to produce high-end rosés to rival those made in Provence.

“I think rosé can be a serious wine and Bordeaux can make serious rosé. We need to change people’s perceptions and prove that Bordeaux has the capability to produce elegant rosés,” he said.

Back in Provence, Hollywood A-listers Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have enjoyed considerable success with their Miraval rosé, with the first 6,000 bottles of their inaugural 2012 vintage being snapped up within five hours of going on sale.

Earlier this month, Herefordshire-based Chase distillery released its first Provençal rosé onto the market – Williams Chase Rosé 2013 – a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Rousanne.

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