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The abbreviation PDO stands for "protected designation of origin" and is a quality seal of the EU that is awarded according to strict quality criteria. The wine regions of Provence and Valtènesi produce their rosé wines according to these rules. They stand for a long tradition there.

The rosé wine market is growing steadily - both in demand and production. This is not just a short-lived trend, but a consistent development towards rosé top quality. An important key to this is the EU's PDO seal. The abbreviation PDO means "protected designation of origin" and guarantees that the origin and processing of the grapes comply with strict quality regulations.

Provence in southern France and Valtènesi in northern Italy are exemplary for rosé wines with a protected designation of origin. "The PDO label on our wines is a guarantee of quality," explains Brice Eymard, director general of the professional association for Provence wines (CIVP). "Provence and Valtènesi are European wine-growing regions with centuries of tradition" - linked by the targeted know-how for rosé wines as well as for sustainability, authenticity and terroir. "Furthermore, rosé wines stand for a carefree attitude to life, for emotions and sociability," says Eymard.

Rosé wines are independent

Rosé accounts for one tenth of global still wine production - almost 2.6 billion litres of rosé wine are produced worldwide every year. The front-runner is France with 760 million litres, which is about 30 per cent of the total. It is followed by Spain (550 million litres), the USA (350 million litres), Italy (250 million litres) and Germany (98 million litres).

Rosé wine needs a sure instinct, because besides the quality of the grapes, vinification and timing are important. After the harvest, the red grapes are destemmed and then either pressed immediately or only lightly crushed and left to stand for some time. The mixture of pulp, skins, seeds and juice is the mash, and the juice releases the colouring from the skins. This process is called maceration, and the longer it takes, the more intense the colour and flavour of the rosé wine. The maceration time can range from a few hours to several days. Afterwards, the mash is pressed and only the must is fermented; the rosé wine is then aged in stainless steel, wood or concrete.

Character and quality thanks to PDO

In the Valtènesi region on Lake Garda and in Provence in the southeast of France, rosé wine is predominantly produced and - by tradition, with the experience of generations and with a lot of joie de vivre. The protected designation of origin guarantees controlled quality and character of origin. The winegrowers in these regions know which grape varieties thrive best in their region and have been cultivating grape varieties that are especially suited for rosé production for centuries out of conviction. They know their terroirs, their soils and the microclimates, and they use the best possibilities in vineyards and cellars to produce their regionally typical growths.

In French, the abbreviation PDO corresponds to the designation AOP (Appellation d'Origine Protégée), in Italian to the designation DOP (Denominazione di Origine Protetta). While the Italian wineries concentrate mainly on the Groppello grape variety for their Valtènesi DOP rosé, the Provençal producers make their AOP rosé wines from different grape varieties, above all Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah.

On the one hand, this results in a characteristic taste profile and, on the other hand, a great variety of wines. But the seductive wines can do even more! Because the rosé wines with protected designation of origin are versatile, attractive food companions and not only popular as fresh all-rounders in summer; they also give a lot of pleasure in autumn or winter.

Rosé Provence PDO - light-footed and profound

Whether at a barbecue, after work or on festive occasions - the PDO rosé wines from Provence always cut a fine figure. They come from the AOP Côtes de Provence, Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence and Coteaux Varois en Provence and are mainly made from the grape varieties Cinsault, Grenache Noir, Mourvèdre and Syrah. Tibouren, Cabernet Sauvignon and Carignan are also permitted for the production of rosé PDO in Provence.

Cinsault grapes have a dark colour, but their juice is almost colourless. They give the wine aromas of blackberries, blueberries and herbs. Grenache Noir contributes a refreshing acidity as well as notes of strawberries and hibiscus. The Mourvèdre aroma is characterised by plums, cherries, violets or dried herbs. Syrah provides plenty of colour as well as a slightly peppery spiciness, complemented by strawberry and cherry notes.

Many producers in Provence obtain their rosé wine by pressing the grapes quickly after only minimal maceration. The must is then light pink, and so many Provence rosés present themselves with a lightness that is at the same time quite profound - because these PDO wines have substance.

Rosé Valtènesi PDO - "la dolce vita" in the glass

On the south-western shore of Lake Garda, in Lombardy, lies the PDO region of Valtènesi. In the warm climate of the picturesque landscape between the Mediterranean Sea and the Alps grows the grape variety Groppello, at least 30 percent of which must be contained in the PDO rosé. It can be combined with Marzemino, Sangiovese and Barbera.

Groppello has many aromatic facets: red berries and citrus fruits can be found as well as rose petals, acacia honey or sweet spices. The dark Marzemino grape enriches the wines with plum and cherry notes as well as freshness and a delicate bitterness. The Sangiovese also brings animating freshness, as well as aromas of cherries, red currants, cranberries, blackberries and violets. The Barbera grape, which is low in colour and tannin, is characterised by notes of cherries, vanilla and blackcurrants.

Since the 16th century, winegrowers in the Valtènesi area have been producing their rosé wines. Their history is linked to the romance between the noblewoman Amalia Brunati and the Venetian senator Pompeo Molmenti. The latter was also the mayor of Moniga del Garda and, as a passionate wine lover, developed a new process to transform the Groppello grape into a rosé wine: The "wine of a night" ("vino di una notte") is created after only a few hours of maceration and embodies the relaxed lifestyle of its region of origin.

Diverse food pairing with Rosé PDO

The consistently dry PDO rosés from Provence and the Valtènesi are already a delight on their own, but they also stand up well as food accompaniments and offer a wide variety of combinations. This already starts with the starter: Thanks to their mostly mild acidity, the origin-protected rosés go excellently with salads with vinaigrette or other dressings. A fine gazpacho is best accompanied by a mineral Provence wine, while fruit-driven wines are recommended for spicier starters. Classic Italian antipasti suggest the choice of a full-bodied Valtènesi rosé.

Rosé is also an excellent option with vegetarian or vegan dishes. Whether peppers, tomatoes, aubergine, courgettes or artichokes, root vegetables, asparagus, pumpkin or mushrooms - the finely fruity rosés prove their worth in all kinds of meatless combinations and are therefore right up to date. When it comes to fish and seafood, there are even almost classic culinary partnerships: a Provence rosé with Southern French bouillabaisse, a Valtènesi rosé with grilled dorade... Fruity rosé wines also accompany other noble fish such as pike-perch, trout, halibut or sole. A mineral rosé, on the other hand, harmonises perfectly with sushi, mussels or prawns. In this way, they can be served at the table all year round.

When it comes to meat, too, it doesn't just have to be steak or sausage from the grill. One of the special advantages of rosé wines is that they simply bypass the old gastronomic rule "red wine with red meat, white wine with white meat" - because they go excellently with both! Full-bodied rosés from Provence or Valtènesi can accompany beef, duck, lamb or game excellently, elegant growths go perfectly with veal, pork or poultry. And even after the main course, no one has to do without rosé: Fruity PDO wines are exciting companions to mild and also spicy cheeses, from goat cheese to Camembert and Parmesan. If ripe fruit such as figs or apricots is served afterwards or instead, mineral rosé wines are in their element.

Thus, rosé wines with protected designation of origin are recommended as complete menu accompaniments - it's worth trying them out!

Rosé wines with PDO Vins de Provence Consorzio Valtènesi

Rosé wines with PDO U.

The European Union (EU) is a leader in the wine sector, accounting for 70 per cent of global rosé production and 60 per cent of global consumption. Currently, according to the European Federation of Wines of Origin (EFOW), there are 1,144 wines with protected designation of origin (PDO) in the EU. PDO wines accounted for around 48 per cent of total EU production in 2019/2020. Provence is the world's largest producer region of rosé wines. 42 percent of French PDO rosé wines and 6 percent of rosé wines produced worldwide come from Provence. All wines originating from there bear the PDO seal. Italy is the fourth largest producer of rosé after the USA and Spain. Valtènesi is one of the five leading Italian regions with a share of 10 percent of the Italian PDO rosé wine production. The Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Provence (CIVP) and the Consorzio Valtènesi are representative of the European PDO rosé wine sector.

Funded by the European Union. However, the views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Research Executive Agency (REA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible.

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