SOURCE: Provence Wines

December 21, 2007 12:15 ET

Provence Rosé -- A Modern Day Revival

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - December 21, 2007) - Provence producers know full well that the popularity of dry rosé has grown at a phenomenal rate over the last 5 to 7 years and they could not be happier. With their chic color, reasonable price range and easy-to-drink flavor profile, rosés have become the wine of choice, especially among younger wine drinkers looking to be a part of the latest trend. Though these wines tend to reach their sales peak in the spring and summer months, 2007 seemed to be the turning point for rosé, selling well into the fall as recently stated in Wine Business Magazine.

While analysts, producers, importers and consumers contemplate how this rosé phenomenon came to be, most likely it can be attributed to several related factors: a surge in high-quality imports offering diversity and versatility at attractive price points and a concerted effort to downplay all those sweet, pink stereotypes. Whatever the reason, it seems the nation's taste for dry rosé has been awakened!

As someone who is doing his part to change those stereotypes, Michael Romano, Owner and President of Romano Brands, Inc., shared his thoughts on Provence rosés and why he's not afraid to drink the pink stuff: "There is nothing sexier than a rosé wine from Provence. They have a refined complexity that can only come from this Mediterranean region. These are not 'pop' (culture) wines; real men drink pink."

David Milligan, Owner of David Milligan Selections, added, "One of the most exciting recent developments for French wines has been the new appreciation of dry rosés. The US consumer has learned to distinguish them from White Zinfandel and appreciates their fresh, clean flavors and beautiful color. Provence rosés are especially appealing because of their great price/value relationships."

Restaurants and wine shops across the country are increasing their rosé sections and are offering a greater selection to their customers. With 20% of the world's rosé coming from France, and 80% of that rosé coming from Provence, it's no wonder appellations such as Côtes de Provence, Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence and Coteaux Varois en Provence are finding themselves on wine lists and store shelves nationwide.

Mr. Romano further emphasizes that "today's rosés are of much better quality and customers see Provence as the leader in rosé wines; all other regions are playing catch-up."

What's in store for 2008:

In keeping with the tradition of producing quality wines consumers have come to expect, Provence winemakers strapped on their work boots and hit the vineyards last September to get an early start on the 2007 harvest. What they found were low yields and high-quality grapes that set the stage for yet another great vintage. Favorable weather conditions throughout the growing season led to good development of the grapes and their aromas. Winemakers believe this year's rosés will show a true sense of the terroir with the famous "Mistral" wind as the most notable characteristic of the 2007 vintage. Be sure to keep an eye out for these rosés when they hit US shores in early spring of '08.

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