With Chelan Nouveau quickly approaching, my excitement rises at the thought of all of the wonderful Rose’ wines about to be released. For me there is nothing better than a chilled glass of Rose’ on a beautiful spring or a hot summer afternoon. I first experienced a dry Rose’ while visiting in the south of France which is the epicenter of Rose’. Initially I insisted that I would not drink “pink wine” as it was way too sweet for my palate. After much persuasion I tried a glass and was immediately hooked. Rose’ was my beverage of choice for our long afternoon lunches. I was amazed at all of the different hues to the wines and the different characteristics of tastes. So when I returned to the states I made it my mission to find “French” Rose’ wines. Now that I live in the Chelan Valley, my mission is to seek out the Chelan valley Rose’ wines – and I have been having a great time doing it. Here in the Chelan Valley, the wine makers do a fabulous job of crafting Rose’ wines from many different varietals of grapes. The wine can be made from a single varietal or a blend of several. In the Chelan AVA the Syrah grape seems to dominate. Some winemakers use Syrah as a stand-alone varietal, others use it as a part of their blend. Grenache, Tempranillo, Pinot Noir, and Mouvedre’ also play a strong role. Rose’ wine achieves some of its color from contact with the grape skins during fermentation. Also the amount of time the skins are in contact will determine the hue. The shorter the time on the skins during fermentation, the lighter the color. The grape varietal also plays a big role in determining the shade of pink which will vary in color from a very pale pink to a brilliant hot pink. Take my advice: grab a chilled bottle of Rose’, find a spot with a view, and enjoy!
Enjoy Chelan Nouveau for one more weekend April 25 - 26. And check out the Lake Chelan Wine Valley website for more information!