Celebrate Spring With These Locally-Made Rosé Wines
by Michele Gargiulo, wine and spirits editor
Ready for warm weather, outdoor fun – and rosé? Nothing says spring like a refreshing, flavorful rosé. Some of our favorite rosés are made in Pennsylvania!
What is rosé? Well, these pink wines are made a variety of ways. They can be made from the “free run” juice. That’s created when, during the grapes’ harvest, the gentle pressure of the wines on top crush the wines on bottom. That releases small amounts of juice.
Rosé can also be made from blending a dash of a red wine with white wine. That’s how rosé Champagne is made! These pretty wines can also be made when winemakers squish the red fruit and leave the crushed grapes with the juices for a period of time. That allows the juice to soak up the beautiful coloring of the skins.
Or, rosé can be made by removing some juice early in the process of making red wine. The juice left behind with the skins becomes an even bigger and bolder red wine. No matter how these wines are made, there are a lot of excellent varieties of them in the area. Ready to open a bottle? Here are six rosé wines you’ll love.
Penns Woods Winery Rosé (Chadds Ford) This wine is made from a combination of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec. The exact percentage of the grapes varies from year to year depending on the harvest at Penns Woods. They are sure to use only the highest quality grapes for this delightful wine. Peachy-pink in color, it is bright on the nose with freshly cut apricots, orange zest, and blooming roses. The palate is juicy and begs for some cheese or light snacks. I highly recommend this wine chilled with some marcona almonds.
Grace Winery Rosé (Glen Mills) Pale pink in color, this wine is primarily made from Pinot Noir. The blend varies depending on the harvest, but the granite soil in which the Pinot grapes are grown lends to a palate bursting with minerality. Winemaker Andrew Yingst expertly crafts this wine with a few hours of skin contact, creating the beautiful pink hue. Crisp apples, crushed raspberries, and orange blossoms come to life in this lean and refreshing wine. I recommend enjoying this wine with grilled prawns … and sitting in the sunshine.
Galen Glen Winery Rosé (Andreas) Looking for a weightier rosé? Look no further! This rosé is deep in color and boasts translucent garnet. Crafted from Zweigelt and Gruner Veltliner, this wine is an ode to Germany. These grape varietals are not planted widely in the Pennsylvania area, but they are thriving in this ecosystem. In total, 11 varietals are grown on Galen Glen’s vineyard in the Lehigh Valley, and their rosé changes yearly. Tangerines, tomato leaves, and dark cherries are present on the nose and palate of this wine. This heavier style of rosé begs for a nice pasta with homemade tomato sauce – heavy on the garlic.
Stargazers Vineyard Rosé Gold (Coatesville) This pretty, salmon pink wine is another wine made from Pinot Noir. Whispers of mint, almond skins, and hand-squeezed orange juice are hiding in this rosé. While this wine is hard to find on the internet, the staff at Stargazers in Coatesville are extremely knowledgeable about their product. This winery sources some of the fruit from the Finger Lakes in upstate New York for its Rieslings, but the majority of its wines are grown and made in Pennsylvania. I recommend this wine with tuna tartare, avocado, and soy sauce.
Wayvine Winery Pet-Nat Carmine Rosé (Nottingham) This delicious rosé is made in the old style of Champagne, with primary fermentation finishing in the bottles. This method leaves the wine delightfully sparkling. This grape varietal is the lovechild of Cabernet Sauvignon and Carignan, which is then crossed with Merlot. The Bordeaux-style grapes make a beautiful pink hue on this wine. A strong essence of fresh strawberries are on the nose, followed by a honeydew back palette. Served chilled, this wine is the perfect summer day-sipper. Wayvine is located in Nottingham and is an excellent place to learn more about rosé wines made in this style.
Stony Run Winery Rosé (Breinigsville) A lighter style rosé, this wine is pale salmon pink in color. Made of Pinot Noir grapes picked at the peak of their ripeness, this wine oozes melon and floral aromas. This grape is thin skinned and retains acidity, so it typically makes easy drinking rosé. Light and crisp, there are notes of kumquat, pomegranate seeds, and dried cranberries on the palate. Delicate in color, the body is lean and tart. This rosé pairs perfectly with shellfish and grilled fish, and I recommend enjoying it chilled with lobster cocktail. Keep an eye on Stony Run; this winery is racking up a lot of awards.
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