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Provence rosé faces supply slump

Published:  11 May, 2018

The sweltering bank holiday temperatures, higher than average winter sales and poor French harvests could mean a “potential draught” for rosé wines from Provence, according to Majestic.

This is against a backdrop of growing demand for pink styles.

The UK retailer said that record temperatures at the beginning of May sparked a 114% increase in its rosé sales over the bank holiday weekend.

According to Majestic, thirst for dry rosé, in particular from Provence, has “skyrocketed” in recent years, with the region exporting over 30 million litres last year – up from five million in 2007.

At Majestic, a record 110,000 bottles of pink were sold in the run-up to Christmas and New Year.

But while the pale rosé from the South of France has become a go-to drink when temperatures rise, the low French harvest in 2017 could affect supplies of the Provence rosé this summer, the retailer has predicted.

The threat to supplies started in the winter of 2017-2018 with an unseasonal peak in demand, even during the winter months and the Beast from the East cold snap.

“For many, rosé has meant one of two things - pale and summery, or dark and sickly,” said Charles Cutterdige, rosé buyer at Majestic.

“But we’re seeing a huge change in the category now, as more styles come in. Malbec is a great example. It has popular appeal as a red wine but we’ve had increased interest in our pink styles too. It’s the same with other grapes, like Pinot Noir, as well as whole regions - like Lisbon”.

Majestic is advising customers to consider alternative rosés from Portugal as well as Pinot Noir pinks and chilled Beaujolais.

Only last month, the regions winemakers, revealed that output fell by 12% or 21 million bottles in 2017 following harsh late frosts.

Total production fell by 11.9% from 176 million bottles in 2016 to 155 million last year. Production of rosé fell by 10.9% to 139 million bottles.

Eighty nine per cent of the region’s output last year was rosé wines. Seven per cent was red and 4% white.