St. Tropez Water, LLC is a specialty importer of rosé from the South of France. In 2015 we are importing wines from 12....11 from the Cotes de Provence and one from Pays d’Oc.Taste Profile
All of the wines are sold at the beach restaurants in Southern France, which indicates that they have a proven taste profile—not bitter, and not too acid. Even though there are about 600 wineries in the Cotes de Provence, roughly 40 of them dominate the market on the Cote d’Azur because they have a taste profile that appeals to the French, Italians, Americans, British, Dutch, and Germans—the most frequent visitors to the French Rivera.Making Rosé
Rosé wine is the most technically difficult wine to make. It hates heat and oxygen. When exposed to those conditions it will turn on the winemaker and become bitter or acid. There is actually an institute that experiments and shares the best ways to make rosé wine in France, but no such organization exists for red or white wines.How to Avoid Heat and Oxygen
Picking the grapes between 4am and 10am is the best way to keep the grapes safe from too much heat. Next they need to be transported quickly to the de-stemmer and crusher. Unlike red wines you can’t buy grapes from other vineyards miles away and expect to make good wine with grapes that have been exposed to higher daytime temperatures during transport.
The best practice is to bath the de-stemming operation with carbon dioxide gas, as it has both a cooling effect and is heavy enough to drive away the oxygen. Then a special sealed crusher should be used, that is wrapped in stainless steel to keep oxygen away from the juice of the grapes. Furthermore, this special crusher should first be flooded with carbon-dioxide to expel any oxygen before the grapes are crushed, and during the crushing to avoid any heat build-up from the pressing.What can go wrong?
If the day gets too warm, too early; the higher temperature can damage the grapes. The winemaker can run out of carbon dioxide because he didn’t have enough reserves on hand, and some of the grapes will have to be crushed without its protection from heat and oxygen.
During fermentation the temperature in the tanks can rise too high and damage the wine. Great rosé wine can only be made by perfectionists, and there are not enough of them to go around.