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No Longer A Fad, Rosé Wines Are Now In Sustained Growth Mode

May 10, 2019

In what can now be considered a long-term trend, rosé wines are riding a major growth curve, as variety expands and drinkers opt for rosé outside the traditional summer months. Last year, the rosé category’s U.S. volumes (including blush and pink wines as well as traditional rosé) grew to 18.7 million cases, according to Impact Databank, up from 17.5 million cases back in 2015.

Pink/blush wines still account for most of the rosé market, reaching 16.4 million cases on a 4% rise in Nielsen channels last year, with value up 13% to $1 billion. But the premium-plus rosé segment, which is dominated by Provence, is showing far more explosive growth. Provençal rosés topped 2 million cases in the U.S. on 14% growth last year, according to French government agency Business-France. Overall U.S. volume of rosé imports is projected to reach 3 million cases by 2020, which would mark a fivefold expansion from 2010. Less than a decade ago, rosés from Provence stood at just 123,000 cases in the U.S. market. And value continues to grow ahead of volume, reaching a record €134 million ($152m) on a 17% rise last year.

Provençal winemaker Château d’Esclans has introduced a number of popular labels in recent years, led by the flagship Whispering Angel. Imported by Shaw-Ross International, the Château d’Esclans portfolio shot ahead by 34% in the U.S. last year to reach 414,000 cases—more than double its 2016 volume. Rock Angel ($35), Les Clans ($60), and Garrus ($100) join Whispering Angel ($24) in the portfolio. Last spring Château d’Esclans debuted The Palm by Whispering Angel ($15), a blend of Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah from Côteaux d’Aix-en-Provence.

Another leading imported rosé brand in the U.S., Château Miraval ($28), has carved out a solid position in the super-premium segment. Last year, the Provençal brand grew 4% to 123,000 cases. Imported by Vineyard Brands, Château Miraval was launched in 2012 by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, in partnership with the Perrin family. The brand recently extended with Studio by Miraval ($19). Vineyard Brands also imports La Vieille Ferme Rosé ($12) from the Southern Rhone, which is also produced by Famille Perrin. Elsewhere, Trinchero Family Estates’ Bieler Pere et Fils advanced by 17.7% last year to 73,000 cases, and the portfolio also includes Sabine Aix-en-Provence ($13) and Bandol Rosé ($19). Deutsch Family’s Fleurs de Prairie was at 70,000 cases, up from 20,000 in 2017, and Luneau USA’s Aimé Roquesante was up 40% to 80,000 cases.—Kimberly Tharel

Though Provence is the most notable rosé region in France, other areas like the Côtes du Rhône and Languedoc are also posting growth within the rosé category. Languedoc winemaker Gérard Bertrand owns the popular Cote des Roses label ($17), which is popular with millennials, and Terlato’s Belleruche label was up 8% to 132,000 cases. Barton & Guestier increased by 18% to 91,000 cases.

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