Is there an “official” start to Rosé Season? Rosé is made from the runoff juice of the first pressing of grapes harvested between September and October. Therefore, most wineries are ready to release their rosé between March and April. Though releases can continue into the summer—also the peak time for rosé drinking—rosé rarely requires more than four or five months before bottling.
Such is the case for the 2020 Cultivar Wine Napa Valley Rosé, which we bottled on April 1st. Our new rosé came out looking like springtime in a glass. On the nose, you’re greeted with floral aromas of dried roses, peonies, wild strawberry, and pink grapefruit. Crisp, dry flavors of tangy orange, watermelon, and a lingering savory herb finish give this wine an amazing character. Rosé season is here, and it’s time to celebrate!
Before Rosé Season can kick-off, we have to bottle it first! If you’ve never had the chance to watch the bottling process, it’s really something to behold. Since the wine is stored in giant steel tanks (some of which have a capacity of several hundred gallons), the wine doesn’t go to the bottling line: the bottling line comes to the wine.
Here you can see the trailer that houses the entire mobile bottling facility. The trailer is backed up to the winery, where hoses are run from the tanks inside. The pallets in the foreground are stacked with cases containing empty bottles. These bottles are placed on a conveyor belt, and the machines inside the trailer do the rest.
The bottles are blown clean with compressed air, then filled with wine, corked, capsuled, and labeled. Once finished, the bottles are loaded by hand back into their cases and pushed down a ramp to the loading dock. There, the cases are stacked back onto pallets and ready for transport.
Julien Fayard, whose winemaking craftsmanship was recently featured in the Robb Report, created our Napa Valley Rosé from select lots of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Winemakers are skilled at taking Mother Nature’s interruptions in stride, and 2020 certainly had a few twists and turns. Julien Fayard’s genius is apparent with every sip of this rosé, which strikes a perfect balance between subtlety of style and signature Napa Valley boldness.
The 2020 season will be remembered as historic. In Napa, a warm, dry winter didn’t give way to rain and cold weather until the end of March. The mild spring season gave us a great early start, while summer brought very cool mornings and very warm days. While the 2020 Napa Valley harvest proved to have its challenges, it is not without the hints of brilliance that define this magical area. The story of this vintage will continue to unfold over the years to come.
At Cultivar Wine, our official start to the Rosé Season starts on April 15th, when our wine club members get the first allocation of the 2020 Napa Valley Rosé. Following that, the remaining bottles go on sale to the public through our website. You can also come down to Cultivar SF, our farm-to-table restaurant in the Marina District of San Francisco, and enjoy a glass.