A rosé is a type of wine that incorporates some of the color from the grape skins, but not enough to qualify it as a red wine. It may be the oldest known type of wine. The pink color can range from a pale "onion"-skin orange to a vivid near-purple, depending on the grape varieties used and winemaking techniques. There are three major ways to produce rosé wine: skin contact, saignée and blending. Rosé wines can be made still, semi-sparkling or sparkling and with a wide range of sweetness levels from bone-dry Provençal rosé to sweet White Zinfandels and blushes. Rosé are made from a wide variety of grapes and can be found all across the globe.
When rosé wine is the primary product, it is produced with the skin contact method. Black-skinned grapes are crushed and the skins are allowed to remain in contact with the juice for a short period, the skins are discarded rather than left in contact throughout fermentation (as with red wine making). The longer that the skins are left in contact with the juice, the more intense the color of the final wine.
The 'bleeding' method, rosé is a by product of making red wine. Some of the light juice from the red wine tank is bled off at an early stage in what is known as the Saignée (from French bleeding). The red wine remaining in the tank is intensified as a result of the bleeding, because the volume of juice in the must is reduced, and the must involved in the maceration becomes more concentrated. The pink juice that is removed is then fermented separately to produce rosé.
Blending of Red and white wines is practiced in some parts of the world to make rosé, but it is not a popular technique. This method is discouraged in most wine growing regions, especially in France, where it is forbidden by law, except for Champagne. Even in Champagne, several high-end producers do not use this method but rather the saignée method.