Summertime Wine


July 8, 2024

Words by: Marcia J. Hamm

See the world through rosé-coloured glasses

There are thousands of red grape varieties; many of which are used to make rosé. While one might enjoy a big, robust red, others might enjoy the fresh, fruity, lowe(er) alcohol wine of a lighter hue. These pink wines are especially appreciated during the long summer days, however, they can (and should) be enjoyed all year long.

Despite a centuries-long history of winemaking, Calabrese wines remain relatively unknown compared to other regions like Piemonte or Lombardia. Ippolito, located in the only DOC of Cirò, is the oldest winery in this part of Italy, boasting 150 years of viticulture and winemaking. Created in 1845 with a set of initials on a country house, the fifth generation now works hard to promote Calabria and its native grape varieties, the land, and its biodiversity. 

The Mabilia rosato is named for an 11th-century Norman princess who lived in the region. Made from gaglioppo, the most ancient native grape of Calabria, the wine is salmon-pink with fragrant notes of sour black cherry, grapefruit, violet and rose. Fresh, delicate, yet persistent, this wine could easily grace anyone’s table this summer. Luxurious taste, yet well-priced at around $23.

Gerard Bertrand is an icon in southern France. With an empire stretching through much of Languedoc over his 12 separate estates, his ongoing goal is to reveal and promote the best terroirs in the region. By age 9,  Bertrand had learned much about grape growing and winemaking from his father. When his father passed away, Bertrand was in his early 20s. The skills and business acumen he’d acquired over the years allowed him to take over and successfully run the company. He set out by employing the biodynamic and sustainable principles that had become increasingly important to him. The third and fourth generations of the family follow in his footsteps, gleaning as much wisdom as they can from Bertrand along the way. His passion is evident in every bottle of wine he produces. From the simple to luxurious; the everyday to the elegant, Gerard Bertrand has a wine for every palate and budget.

Bertrand’s Clos du Temple rosé is produced in the historic terroir of Cabrieres, the birthplace of rosé. This wine is Bertrand’s attempt to make the world’s most expensive rosé. The bottle speaks to luxury with its unique, rectangular design, adorned with a fine gold decoration to remind one of the hills surrounding the winery. This exquisite wine is a delicate pink; fragrant and fruity, with notes of apricot, white peach, rose and hints of green pepper. It also comes with a luxurious price: around $275 for a bottle.

The De Grendel wine estate in the Western Cape of South Africa boasts a rich and fascinating history. Sir David Graaff, the first mayor of Cape Town, embarked on the task of modernizing the city and bringing electricity to the area. Graaff purchased the estate, and over time, raised livestock, and planted vineyards and other fruits and vegetables. A rare 10-generation Baronet title was bestowed upon him by King George V due to these efforts. 

Today, 4th generation Baronet and proprietor, De Villiers Graaff, continues to expand upon the wines offered. The Proposal Hill Brut Rosé pays homage to his grandparents’ love story. It was on this Tyberberg hill, overlooking the original homestead built by the first Baronet Graaff, that their wedding proposal took place. This 100% pinot noir Methode Cap Classique (South Africa’s version of traditional method sparkling wine), makes an ideal summer celebration wine. Fresh lavender, strawberry coulis and black cherry aromas and flavours are well-balanced with crisp acidity and a delicate bubble. The colourful floral gift box makes it a perfect welcome gift for any picnic or garden party. Well-made and luxurious, the $40 price tag would allow you to buy more than one bottle. 

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