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ENTREZ, ROSÉ

Opening Up to Provence’s Centuries-Old Passion

Interested in learning about our fastest-growing Provençal Rosé? Skip to the Fleur de Mer Rosé section before reading the main article. 

Strolling down a cobblestone street of a tranquil village, scents of freshly baked bread and dried herbs dance on the air. In the distance, rolling rows of lavender sway and dance in the sunlight. Just past these dusty purple fields, rows of lush vineyards nestle between limestone cliffs and the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea. 

Sounds like the makings of a dream, doesn’t it? Mostly because it is.  

Provence – a living dreamland set in the south of France. 

While this picture-perfect region has hosted everyone from infamous artists to celebrities sunning themselves on holiday, Provence also produces the world’s most acclaimed bottles of the latest wine superstar: Rosé. 

So, what exactly is it that makes Provence the epicenter of world-class Rosé in 2019? We can define the region’s seemingly sudden je ne sais quoi through shifting consumer preferences as well as Provence’s history, terroir and climate. And let us not forget the wine itself. 

3 Rosé Trend Fast Facts

Rosé now brings in more new dollar sales than any other wine type.1  

Here are three stats that underscore its meteoric rise:

1. This pretty-in-pink varietal has skyrocketed in the US wine industry – growing +104% in the last five years.2

2. Rosé has surpassed Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc in volume sales – cementing not only its popularity but also its staying power.3

3. When it comes to imports, France leads the Rosé race with more than $100 million in US sales.4

PALATES AND VERSATILITY 

In the United States, many consumer palates began transitioning from sweet to drier in recent years. This shift led consumers to leave behind the pink sugar bomb Blushes and White Zins of ’80s and set the stage for a surge in Provençal Rosé popularity.  

“Known for their dry, refreshing style, Provençal Rosés provide modern U.S. consumers an ideal combination of crisp minerality, herbaceous notes and cleansing acidity.”

Regardless of whether the wine is produced using a blend of multiple varieties or a single grape, the fact that Rosé grapes see minimal skin contact differentiates the varietal from lower quality pinks popular with U.S. consumers in decades gone by.  

Today’s consumers enjoy this popular varietal indoors, on a patio, in their backyard or poolside. The wine style works by itself, as part of brunch and with virtually any dinner. Plus, Rosé complements spicy meals as its acidity enhances flavors just as its abundant fruit character tames heat to let those other flavors come through.  

And while not typically among your higher price points per bottle, Provençal Rosé’s versatility and quality for the price lends itself to larger basket sizes and more frequent purchase as consumers enjoy Rosé across a range of occasions – often with friends. 

HISTORY & TERROIR 

Over the course of the hundreds of years since Rosé was first introduced in Provence – and elevated by strict guidelines – Provençal wineries have produced countless Rosés.  

As much as the refreshing wine style, the associated history and quality born of the region’s experience and climate make Provençal Rosé all the more appealing to your more sophisticated shoppers and guests. 

Before #RoseAllDay, Nostra Provincia 

While all the Rosé hype has generated a slew of hashtags and even fan merchandise, this varietal is no flash in the pan. The people of Provence began making Rosé more than 2,600 years ago, and their Rosé mastery makes Provence the oldest winemaking region in France. 

In 6th century BCE, Greeks founded the modern-day town of Marseilles and brought the first vines to the area with them. By the time the Romans took control in 200 BCE, naming it “Nostra Provincia” or “Our Province,” the winemaking trends of this region had taken shape.  

Instead of the long fermentation and extraction practices we know today, grapes were harvested, immediately pressed and fermented – resulting in a soft pink hue. Entrez, Rosé. 

Transport Consumers via Terroir 

While the innate and surreal beauty of Provence is worth experiencing in person, your staff can’t physically take consumers there. They can, however, help your clients and guests understand the region without ever booking a trip.  

Perhaps no other region or varietal conveys terroir as effectively as Provençal Rosé. When you lead consumers through a tasting of your recommended selection, like our Fleur de Mer Rosé, the wine instantly transports the taster to Provence in a way describing terroir never will. That being said, some of your staff and consumers will almost certainly be eager to get to know more about the place behind the taste.  

Resting in the south of France, Provence is bordered on the east by the Rhône River and the Côte d’Azur (French Riviera) to the west. And with the French Alps to the north, this dynamic wine region is naturally equipped with sloping hills, shielded valleys, coastal influences and a wide range in soil types.  

AOC Explained

Today, Provence Rosés vary between the nine main Appellation de’Origin Controlée or AOC’s.  

As you may know, these specific sites are determined by their unique characteristics. They also adhere to strict guidelines to receive their respective designations. Growers across the various caves (cooperatives) must grow specific varieties, maintain certain crop sizes and adhere to harvest and blending restrictions set by the AOC. 

The fact that Provence’s vineyards are meticulously cared for and hold strict winemaking standards results in exquisite, premium-quality wines – specifically Rosé – regarded as the benchmark for the broader wine industry. 

Limestone is predominant in western AOC’s where the prehistoric sea once covered the land. The soil’s capacity to hold water increases as a result of the limestone, providing enhanced nutrient uptake for the the vines’ roots. This also helps promote lower pH levels in the grapes – helping winemakers obtain the ideal acidity levels in their vineyards.  

Moving eastern towards the Rhône, areas of granite and volcanic soils begin to appear. These porous, rocky soils allow the vines to establish deep roots with excellent drainage. This allows for the best nutrients to reach the vines and provides the grapes bright mineral characteristics. 

Depending on your AOC of choice, you can experience the distinct expression of that particular region in the color, aroma and taste of your Rosé.  

Masters of Mother Nature 

As the landscape varies across Provence, so does the climate. Most winemakers will agree that weather has arguably the most influence on a vintage over any other factor. Too much of anything (rain, sun, wind, frost) can make or break wine quality. 

Provence sets grapes up for success with ideal weather throughout the growing season. The region sees above-average hours of sunshine each year, allowing ample time to ripen on the vines and resulting in light-bodied wines with bright fruit notes and crisp acidity.  

The infamous Mistral wind that flows throughout the area also contributes to the region’s success. Translated from the local Languedoc dialect, this “masterly” wind moderates the Mediterranean climate. Breezes fly in from the northern Alps, sending cool air into the valleys and coastal regions and helping to prevent rot. They also blow out pollution and prevent cloud cover, creating some of the clearest skies in France.  

The idyllic climate makes Provence the perfect region for growing classic French varietals found in popular Rosés. Some of the most common are Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Cinsault. (White varieties like Roussanne, Grenache Blanc and Marsanne also excel here.) 

5 TIPS FOR BRINGING PROVENCE TO LIFE 

With everything Provençal Rosé has to offer, no wonder the industry and consumers are taking notice of this remarkable wine region. Provence continues to lead the way in Rosé with 88% of their total wine production going to the pink drink.5 With U.S. domestic sales growing year after year, this “trend” has proven its endurance.  

You can offer your customers a taste of this picturesque locale by introducing them to Provençal Rosé and creating wine experiences they are sure to remember. Here are our top five suggestions: 

  1. As temperatures begin to warm up to prime Rosé season, feature Provence Rosé wines in your emails, social media channels and in-store signage. 

  1. Gather your resources!

    • Follow Provençal Rosé brands in your inventory on Instagram to make it easy to regram their content to your own feed and share popular messaging with staff. 

    • Ask your sales representative where to find additional high-quality educational or promotional digital content and video you can repurpose. 

    • For inspiration on selling across price points and consumer preferences, see our Rosé Your Way program on Facebook and Instagram

  2. Offer in-store tastings or wine flights featuring Provençal Rosés from various AOC’s, such as Fleur de Mer from the Côtes de Provence AOC, providing consumers the chance to taste across the region’s terroir.  

  3. Create an epicurean experience with a wide range of small bites to demonstrate Rosé’s incredible versatility.   

  1. Consider extending activities beyond “Rosé Season,” testing the opportunities to tap into increasing consumer willingness to move from #RoséAllDay to #RoséAllYear. (A great way to clear out prior vintage inventory to make room for this years’.) 



PERFECTLY PROVENÇAL: FLEUR DE MER ROSÉ

Crafted to capture the allure of Provence, Fleur de Mer Rosé offers an elegant package, heritage and premium-quality Rosé from the renowned Côtes de Provence AOC. Moreover, it appeals to consumers’ desire for a life filled with beauty. Each sip brings the allure of Provence to her table.
Beyond Pink

Fleur de Mer pays tribute to Provence’s famed fields of lavender that bask in the warm summer sun. A true Provençal dry Rosé, Fleur de Mer is beautifully balanced with bright fruit notes and crisp acidity. Delicate aromas of fresh watermelon and cherry give way to a complex, refreshing palate. Layers of red berries and subtle citrus are complemented by a softly textured middle and a fine, cleansing, mineral finish. Some may taste a hint of the region’s lavender as well. An attractive lavender label and the brilliant coral pink of the wine stand out on shelf and when presented at the table. The brand’s lavender lifestyle extends to its Instagram channel, further separating the brand from a sea of pink-permeated Rosé feeds.

Winemaking

Native to the Languedoc region, winemaker Florian Lacroux works in partnership with a celebrated Côtes de Provence Co-op founded in 1964. Today, this carefully chosen group of 11 Domaines, three caves and more than 400 growers gives Fleur de Mer an advantage in producing the finest quality Rosé. The cooperative structure allows Florian access to extensive winemaking resources and the ability to select only the best fruit from ideal sites. As the winemaker, he oversees sourcing, vinification and blending to maintain superior quality and consistency with each vintage. p>

Vintage 2018

The grapes sourced for vintage 2018 were night-harvested and then immediately direct-pressed to preserve the bright, concentrated fruit characteristics and produce a pleasing coral pink hue. This blend is primarily Grenache, Cinsault and Carignan which come together harmoniously and bring remarkable balance to the final wine. Fleur de Mer is the number one Rosé priced between $15-and $20 on retail shelves in the US market, a price point that is driving overall growth for the segment.6 With both 750ml and magnums available, it is the ideal Provence Rosé for any occasion, big or small.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION OR QUESTIONS REGARDING E. & J. GALLO WINERY BRANDS, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LOCAL SALES REPRESENTATIVE. 

  1. © IRI, Total US MULO, 52 Weeks Ending 12-2-18, Total Wine Dollar Sales by Varietal. 

  1. © IRI, Total US MULO, Rolling 52 Weeks Ending 12-30-2018, Custom Rosé (Varietal + Non-varietal), Dollar Sales. 

  1. © IRI, Total US MULO, 52 Weeks Ending 12-2-18, Total Wine Dollar Sales by Varietal. 

  1. © IRI, Total US MULO, 52 Weeks Ending 12-30-2018, Domestic and Imports, Custom Rosé (Varietal + Non-varietal), Dollar Sales. 

  1. Wine Folly, “Your Guide to Provence Wine Region (maps),” August 26, 2013. 

  1. © IRI, Total US MULO, 52 Weeks Ending 12-30-18, Ultra-Premium, Custom Rosé (Varietal + Non-varietal), Volume and Dollar Growth. 

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION OR QUESTIONS REGARDING E. & J. GALLO WINERY BRANDS, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LOCAL SALES REPRESENTATIVE.