A Visit to Provence
written by Michael McNellis
Lavender and wild herbs sprawling over sandy hills at your back. The mid-day sun reflects off the crystal clear, sapphire hued sea. A salty breeze graces your face, and the copper-tinted pink wine appears everlasting in your glass. Where else could you be, other than Provence?
For those that have been to this area of the world; one sniff of a Provence Rosé will bring you
right back. Last year a group from ABG was graciously hosted by Domaine Sainte Marie and Domaine de la Sanglière; producers of some of the finest wines in Côtes de Provence.
Visiting these wineries and soaking in the culture of France’s Mediterranean makes you understand the context of Rosè. You are exposed to a wide range of food pairing capabilities, and a new level of relaxation that can only be achieved by lounging on a catamaran while aromas of red fruit, citrus and rose petals pour out of your glass.
While the newly coined “Rosé Season” is upon us in the beautiful state of New Jersey, Rosé has been in season all year round for the last 2,000+ years in this part of Europe. Provence is France’s oldest wine producing area, and its pink wines are loved today just as they were by the first Emperor of Rome Augustus Caesar.
On one side of the coin, Provence’s warm Mediterranean climate allows for black grape varieties to thrive. On the flip side, drinking heavy red wines in this beautiful weather is not the most refreshing, nor do they pair very well with the seafood dominant cuisine of the area. Enter, Rosé.
Rosé winemaking techniques extract the most delicate fruit, floral and herbal character present
in the red wines of the area by short skin contact with the juice prior to fermentation. After getting a good chill in the fridge, these wines offer the best of both worlds. They have the complexity and aromas of a red, with the crisp refreshing pop of a white.
So cheers to Rose Season, and Au Revoir Provence...till we meet again.