Rosato, Drinking Pink Italian Style from the Mountains to the Sea

rosé rosato rosadoThe Italian Food, Wine and Travel writers are celebrating Italian pink wines made from native grapes. That means anything still to sparkling and dry to sweet, and it’s happening August first!

A huge thank you to Lauren at The Swirling Dervish for hosting this month’s event, and for all the fabulous wine articles she writes!

As Lauren wrote in her invitation article, “Italy’s rosato wines offer an entire spectrum of their own… They come in every style and intensity…”

Rosato, Rosado, Rosé

Mark and I drink plenty of pink wine whether it’s rosato (Italy), rosado (Spain and other Latin countries), or rosé. And yet another name in the Sudtirol/Trentino-Alto Adige area of Northern Italy: kretzer.

Today I am sharing two very different styles with you: one from the foothills of the Italian Apennines that evokes candles, romance and a great meal, while the other, from rolling hills closer to the sea conveys beaches, laughter and sunshine filled days. Between the two is another area making  super rosato, you can read about Chiaretto here if you’d like!

Le Marche and Azienda Agraria Guerrieri

Guerrieri winery italy rosatoIt is in the northern part of this region (pronounced lay-MAR-kay), about 45 minutes from the Adriatic coast, and on the eastern bank of the Metauro River valley you’ll find the Guerrieri property. They are in Bianchello del Metauro, which was among Le Marche’s first DOCs for white wines in the still, spumante (sparkling) and passito styles. While they do produce DOCs wines, they utilize the IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica) for their rosato and a few other wines.

The fifth and sixth generation of the family work together on this grape, olive and grain farm. One hundred and eighteen acres (48 ha) are dedicated to grapevines with an annual production of 250,000 bottles.

le Marche Azienda Agraria Guerrieri vineyard

Guerrieri farms in an organic manner, not utilizing herbicides or pesticides but instead plant-based nitrogen fertilizers along with green manure. You can see here how they let grass and vegetation grow between vine rows. Photo courtesy of Guerrieri.

A Healthy Family Affair

Wanting to use less and care more for the land and farm, the operation now runs 100% on solar energy. According to the website,

“We live and work in a country ‘bathed’ in sun. The sun produces energy not only for the life of our plants (photosynthesis) but also for our production processes.
In the summer of 2011 we had a 300-kilowatt photovoltaic system installed on our farm building roofs. The energy generated exceeds the needs of all our production processes; any surplus energy is therefore fed into our network and distributed to benefit other local users.

In 1996, in collaboration with ASSAM, we installed a weather station to monitor climate information, which we post online for use by farmers in our territory.”

Guerrieri Rosato Tasting Notes

Sangiovese goes solo in this direct press wine where harvest is completed earlier to maintain higher acidity. They don’t use oak and bottle shortly after fermentation completes. Their goal is to produce a lighter colored, vibrant wine for immediate enjoyment. In Italian that means aperitivo and they succeeded with this wine!

Azienda Agraria Guerrieri Le Marche

Guerrieri works with the VCR6 Sangiovese clone, commonly referred to as the Brunello clone, meaning the same Sangiovese grape used to make Brunello di Montalcino. Photo source: Guerrieri.

Rosa Dei Venti – Marche Rosato IGT

Azienda Guerrieri winery rosato rosé

This wine is pale rose in color. The aromas were a blend of fresh and bright strawberry and raspberry fruit with an underlying tart cherry and floral (violet) notes. These flow to the dry palate yet tart cherry is dominant. The wine finishes strong reminding me of lemon squeezed over crushed red cherries. Great length, medium plus acidity and medium body, this wine transports to the beach on a gorgeous day.

Cost: $13 | 11€ – 12% ABV

Some Guerrieri wines are available in the US through PDV Imports.

Heading to Alto Adige and Muri-Gries

Bolzano Bozan Italy Alto AdigeThe Muri-Gries working monastery lies at the southern end of the Isarco River Valley in Alto Adige’s capital town Bolzano. Built as a castle for the Counts of Bozan in the eleventh century, it was donated to Benedictine monks in 1947 who brought their viticultural knowledge to its 86 acres (35 hectares) of vineyards. They work with neighboring growers for access to additional grapes.

The entire site is quite spectacular, oozing history with a zen-like quality. Mountains surround the area with the Italian Alps lying north and west while the Dolomiti hang to the east. What’s astonishing is this- although deep within the Alps, the surrounding alpine glacial valleys form a geological basin protecting Bolzano from cold northerly winds. In fact at just under 1,000 feet (300 meters), would you believe me if I told you Bolzano is one of the hottest places in Italy?

I attest to this ‘heat-trap’ having visited the area!

The site is also organically managed, integrating natural pest management and other sustainable methods.

Tasting Notes: Muri-Gries Sudtirol Lagrein Kretzer 2017

Muri-Gries Lagrein Kretzer Südtirol rosato

I received this sample last year with intentions of immediately savoring but crazy life items surfaced so it was stored until now.

Lagrein is the Muri-Gries hallmark grape variety. It grows exceptionally well in the warmer area of Bolzano. Grapes for this wine are single vineyard designated which Muri-Gries describes as follows:

“As Lagrein is especially dear to our hearts and we are determined to respect its origins, we have developed the single-site principle guaranteeing targeted development of these special sites and the production of each vintage using grapes from one and the same site”.

A deep, coppery-pink color with prominent aromas of raspberry, strawberry and creamy peach were in my glass. They have a mineral slant reminding me of crushed stones and perhaps a minute bit of volatile acidity that aerated off. The medium-intensity palate of wild red berries is fresh and bright yet with a smooth, satiny feel. A bit weightier that a typical rosé yet vibrant still at three years of age. Perhaps less length than if I drank last year but a balanced, quality wine that went perfect with candles on our terrace.

Find Muri-Gries wines:

The Italian Food Wine and Travel group Rocks Rosato

This Saturday, August 1st at 11am ET, 17:00 in Italy, join us for a Twitter chat using hashtag #ItalianFWT. Below are direct links to everything Italian Rosato from the group.

David from Cooking Chat writes about Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo: Pairings with My Favorite Italian Rosé

Pinny from Chinese Food and Wine Pairings writes about Pairing Bibi Graetz Casamatta Toscana Rosato with Drunken Cold Chicken Wings and Pork Knuckle, Sautéed Julienne Leeks #ItalianFWT

Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla tempts us with Italian Pinks, Sardinian Native Grapes, and Gamberi all’Aglio

Terri from Our Good Life shares her pairing for Roasted Chicken Flatbread with Spumante Rosato

Linda from My Full Wine Glass says Summer Won’t Last: and Neither Will this Charming Chiaretto in Your Glass

Martin from Enofylz Wine Blog is Dreaming of Sicily with a Graci Rosato

Gwendolyn from Wine Predator offers Summer Dinner with Rosato from Tuscany and Sicily

Marcia from Joy of Wine chats about Rosato d’Aglianico Vulture: More than Just a Red Wine

Lynn from Savor the Harvest suggests Rosato: Drinking Pink Italian Style, from the Mountains to the Sea #ItalianFWT

Nicole from Somm’s Table prepares Cheese, Charcuterie, and Ciabatta with Praesidium Cerasuolo

Robin from Crushed Grape Chronicles offers Pallotte Cac e Ove & Orecchiette with Two Brilliant Cherry Red Rosatos from Southeast Italy

Katrina from The Corkscrew Concierge advises us to Get to Know Lambrusco Rosato

Susannah from Avvinare tells us that Italy’s Chiaretto from Lake Garda Makes Waves

Jennifer from Vino Travels shares Rosato from the Veneto with Pasqua

Katarina from Grapevine Adventures shares An Italian Rosé Wine that Makes You Sparkle

Our host Lauren from The Swirling Dervish discusses Cantele Negroamaro Rosato: Summer Wine from the Heart of Puglia


20 thoughts on “Rosato, Drinking Pink Italian Style from the Mountains to the Sea

  1. Allison Wallace

    So many interesting things to note in this article…love that they are 100% solar and Lagrein is something we’ve only tried recently in the New World (Oregon) but am starting to see it more and more. We don’t drink much Rosato so I’m definitely interested in reading more!

  2. Marcia J Hamm

    The packaging alone on the Guerrieri alone looks enticing! And I’ve had a lot of Lagrein, but never one in pink form! That’s awesome! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Lynn Post author

      It was my second Lagrein rosato, Colterenzio makes a very nice version too. Definitely not something you see everyday!

    1. Lynn Post author

      This was my first time tasting Lagrein kretzer style, a nice wine. I’m waiting for their 2019 to taste the difference between it and one with age.

  3. David

    I hadn’t heard of that “kretzer” term for rosé before! I’ve enjoyed a few wines from Muri-Gries, very good…but haven’t tried the rosé yet, curious to do so now!

    1. Lynn Post author

      Another word to throw into the mix! Muri-Gries has been making Lagrein for some time, hope you’re able to find one of their kretzer wines David.

    1. Lynn Post author

      It’s funny as I didn’t even think about the age until I started writing notes. At four years it was still quite alive, thanks for your comment Linda!

  4. robincgc

    I love it when you introduce me to new things for me! While I am somewhat familiar with Alto-Adige, I did not know about Muri-Gries and was completely unfamiliar with “Kretzer”. What an amazing new region to explore (virtually). The climate seems so interesting also.
    I do enjoy Lagrein and would find it very interesting to taste as a rose. It sounds like it was perfect for your evening.

    1. Lynn Post author

      This was my first Lagrein kretzer, enjoyed it so. I think you might be able to find it in the states. Hope so, I think you’d like it!

  5. Lauren

    Love that you shared two such different wines! What a demonstration of the range of rosato, and the grapes and terroirs that give rise to it. I’ve never had a rosato from Le Marche but the name of this one calls to me: Rosa dei Venti. What a nice image!

    1. Lynn Post author

      The Marche rosato is named to honor their twenty employees- Rosa dei Venti. Thanks for your comment Lauren!

  6. Eileen

    I haven’t had many Italian Rosato, except for the regular big names (and probably mass produced). I’m starting to find smaller, specialty wine shops to see what they have. Wines like these… they’re harder to find. Both of them sound nice based on your notes, I think I’d like them both and will see if I can locate them!

  7. Kat Rene

    I absolutely love that they are 100% solar! And I’ve never had a rosato from Le Marche and Kretzer is completely new to me. Thank you for the education! Always love being exposed to new things.

    1. Lynn Post author

      I believe that was my first Le Marche rosato too. One hundred percent with you re new things!

  8. Karen Grove

    Isn’t it great that we’ve come such a long way from our younger “Pink Zin” days when pink wines were not good. Now U.S. wineries have discovered how to make excellent “pinks” that are dry and so refreshing on hot summer days. Our favorite right now is Upper Five’s (SW Oregon) rosado.

    1. Lynn Post author

      No kidding Karen! I’m glad to hear your enjoying Oregon rosado. Seems often times when I say rosé people think Provence. It’s good stuff but there is so much more. My last southern Oregon rosé was Quady North.


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