So how do you make sparkling Rosé wine?

by | Jul 11, 2024 | 0 comments


In recent years, English sparkling wines have garnered global acclaim, rivaling those from more established regions like Champagne. Among these, sparkling rosé stands out for its vibrant color, refreshing taste, and versatility. English producers have perfected the art of crafting sparkling rosé, leveraging the unique terroir and cool climate of regions such as Sussex, Kent, and Hampshire. This blog delves into the process of making sparkling rosé wine, with a spotlight on the exceptional techniques and innovations of English winemakers.

The Terroir and Grapes

The foundation of any great wine is its terroir. England’s chalky soils and moderate climate create ideal conditions for growing classic sparkling wine grape varieties like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier. For rosé, Pinot Noir often plays a dominant role due to its ability to impart delicate red fruit flavours and a beautiful pink hue.

The Winemaking Process

1. Harvesting

Timing is crucial when harvesting grapes for sparkling rosé. English producers typically harvest grapes earlier than those destined for still wines to retain higher acidity, which is essential for sparkling wines. The cool English climate ensures that the grapes ripen slowly, preserving their natural acidity and freshness.

2. Pressing and Maceration

To achieve the desired colour for rosé, winemakers use a technique called maceration, where the grape skins remain in contact with the juice for a short period. This can range from a few hours to a couple of days, depending on the desired hue and flavour profile. English winemakers often opt for gentle pressing and careful maceration to extract just enough colour and flavour without overpowering the wine’s delicacy.

3. Primary Fermentation

After maceration, the juice undergoes primary fermentation. This is typically done in stainless steel tanks to maintain the wine’s purity and fruitiness. Some English producers, however, might use oak barrels to add complexity and subtle depth to the wine.

4. Blending

Blending is an art form in sparkling wine production. Winemakers may blend different grape varieties or wines from different vineyard plots to achieve the perfect balance. For rosé, achieving the right colour and flavour profile is paramount, and English winemakers are known for their meticulous attention to detail during this stage.

5. Secondary Fermentation and Aging

The secondary fermentation, known as the “traditional method” or “Champenoise method,” occurs in the bottle. During this stage, sugar and yeast are added to the base wine, which then ferments, producing carbon dioxide and creating bubbles. The wine is aged on its lees (dead yeast cells) for a period ranging from several months to several years, contributing to the wine’s complexity, texture, and autolytic flavours (think brioche or toasted bread).

Innovation and Quality

English sparkling wine producers have been at the forefront of innovation, often adopting and adapting techniques to enhance their wines. For instance, some employ modern temperature control systems during fermentation to preserve delicate aromas and flavours. Others are experimenting with organic and biodynamic viticulture to produce more sustainable wines.


The rise of English sparkling rosé is a testament to the dedication and expertise of English winemakers. By embracing traditional methods and innovative practices, they have created wines that not only reflect their unique terroir but also stand proudly on the global stage. Whether you are a seasoned wine connoisseur or a casual enthusiast, exploring English sparkling rosé offers a delightful journey into the heart of England’s burgeoning wine industry.