Rosé Rocks

Wednesday, 12 August, 2015
Shante Hutton
The pink drink with a lot slack on its back; poor Rosé has had a really bad go of it in past years but that is all about to change with Rosé Rocks - South Africa's first Rosé competition.

I will be honest, I was never a fan of Rosé; I'm a bit of a lad as well as a person who baulks violently at anything that is sold wrapped in pink and given the label "for girls only". I gave it a wide berth and stuck my nose up at those who would drink it in my presence. I apologize to all of you who have seen the inside of my nostrils.

Last year I stopped by Kanonkop because I'm a Pinotage fan and I tried their Rosé. I have not stopped "trying" their Rosé - it's big, not wishy-washy and it isn't packed in a bottle cloaked in glitter and romantic twaddle. It doesn't call itself a lady's wine. It is a Pinotage Rosé. End of. 

Whenever the topic of Rosé gets brought up in wine industry circles, a collective sigh of melancholy rings out as experts bemoan the fact that we "don't make Rosé like the French" - those being mostly bone-dry, crisp and fruity. Honestly, I don't think we try enough of our stuff to warrant such lament.

You see, I think we have being doing a major injustice to the dear pink/salmon/blush/onion-skinned drink:

- We, the wine drinkers, have pushed it aside in favour of "serious" wines forgetting that for many, it is the gateway wine for budding enthusiasts.

- Many producers have labelled it incorrectly and sold it incorrectly with their emphasis on the women's market. This would not be a bad thing - women buy the most wine in SA - but the wine is often lacking in finesse and is simply mass-produced, off-dry or sweet and gives you the mother of all headaches in the morning.

- If you're a serious Rosé maker and you wish to sell it in supermarkets, guaranteed your bottle will be lost amongst the cotton candy additions with their girly labels that burst out from the 'Rosé section. 

Far too many lovely Rosés are not getting the credit they deserve which is what Rosé Rocks wishes to address and change.

'Rosé Rocks!' is South Africa’s first dedicated Rosé wine competition which seeks to recognise excellence in Rosé winemaking and promote the SA Rosé category. With the great Allan Mullins as acting chairman, this will be a competition that I believe will do wonders for the pink drink.

So why do we need a dedicated competition, what is all the fuss about Rosé and is it really worth it? Here are a few juicy facts:

1. Rosé sales in the US grew 25.4 percent last year.

2. Sales were up by 37 percent in the UK market this year.

3. France IMPORT 30% or their Rosé wine needs. Leeuwenkuil wines are producing huge amounts of rose JUST for the export market.

4. Norma Ratcliffe believes that the time has come for Rosé to shine. (yes, I used her as a juicy fact)

5. Last summer, the Hamptons ran out of Rosé wine. And they all nearly died.

6. South Africa's Rosé exports to the US increased by 10.9% to 347 148L in 2013 and are continually rising.

Rose Rocks is about highlighting the fantastic Rose wines being made in our market and as you can see by the above statistics, and in the words of Mr Mullins, "there is something about Rosé that captivates consumers."

There are two weeks left to enter (entries close on August 26th) Judging will take place on Wednesday, 9th September. The results will be announced within 2 weeks of the competition so stay tuned and follow the results on Twitter @Roserockssa 

For any more details, visit their website http://www.roserocks.co.za/

Trudie Webb

Trudie joined wine.co.za in 2016. She comes from an academic background and took on the Content Editing role with such aplomb that she was appointed to the Wine News Editor & Social Media Management role. She has a weak spot for good Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, is a sucker for a pretty label and  has a love for the interesting stories behind the wines and the people who make them.