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Spanish and Portuguese names for a rosé; see there.

Designation for a type of wine with a pale, light red colour. Depending on the intensity of contact with the berry skins, the colour can range from salmon (light red) to cherry (dark red). However, there are no standardised regulations or definitions for rosé wines worldwide. The OIV (International Organisation of Vine and Wine) has no analysis standards that differentiate wines according to their colour. Although there is no precise definition of rosé wine, there are country-specific production methods (see below). As a rule, rosé wines are produced exclusively from red wine varieties and vinified like a white wine, i.e. without mash fermentation and with prolonged contact with the grape skins.

However, there are also rosé wines that are made from a blend (grape/mash or wine) of red wine varieties and, according to country-specific requirements, optionally also white wine varieties (in the case of a grape/mash blend, this is a mixed blend). Which grape varieties are considered red wine varieties or quality wine varieties is also country-specific. There are some white wine varieties with red berry skins such as Roter Muskateller ( Muscat Blanc variety), Gewürztraminer (Roter Traminer) and Pinot Gris, as well as Cereza and other Criolla varieties in South America, which produce a more or less reddish wine.

Rosé - Weintypen und Flasche

EU regulations for rosé wine

In June 2009, following fierce protests from some winegrowers' associations, the responsible EU Commission rejected a legislative proposal that would have allowed rosé wine to be produced by simply blending red and white wine. This was intended to eliminate the competitive disadvantage compared to the blending of red and white wines for the production of simple rosé wines, which is permitted outside the EU.

EU Regulation 2019/934

The ban on blending a red wine with a white wine to produce a rosé wine is manifested in Article 8(1) of EU Regulation Regulation (EU) No 2019/934. Rosé wine may not be obtained by blending a white wine (without a PGI or PDO) with a red wine (without a PGI or PDO). The ban on labelling a blend of red wine and white wine as rosé therefore only applies to the lowest wine quality level of wine without origin. Conversely, this means that for rosé wines, a red-white blend of Landwein (PGI) and quality wine (PDO) is or would be permitted.

Country-specific regulations

Each member state of the EU can authorise certain production methods for the quality levels PGI(Landwein) and PDO(Qualitätswein or Prädikatswein) in national wine law. In Germany and Austria, only a wine that has been produced exclusively from red wine varieties and fulfils the legal requirements for a wine with origin (PGI or PDO) may be marketed under the designation rosé wine.


As an exception, blending is also permitted in the production of sparkling wine. In the case of the traditional designations Badisch Rotgold, Schieler and Schillerwein (so-called Rotlinge), which are protected in Germany, white wine grapes and red wine grapes or their mashes are blended or processed. However, according to the provisions of German wine law, these may not be labelled as rosé wine. In Austria, there are no special designations or protected traditional terms that describe or authorise the blending of red wine with white wine.

Red wines

In many wine-growing regions, such as France or Italy, white wine grapes are also permitted in the production of red wine, subject to corresponding exceptions. The grapes are fermented together by means of so-called mixed fermentation. However, these are not rosé wines, but red wines. Due to the generally very low proportion of white varieties, this has no influence on the colour of the...

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Dominik Trick

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Dominik Trick
Technischer Lehrer, staatl. geprüfter Sommelier, Hotelfachschule Heidelberg

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