Rose wine has been around for a long time and made a huge comeback over the last five years. It was previously perceived as too sweet and a drink for grandmothers. Today, rose wine symbolizes summer and a good life.

A Glimpse to Rose Wine History

It is not known when the first pink wine was labelled. However, It was said to exist alongside with Red and White Wine for many years. One of the few reasons is the unavailability of the winemakers to have the tools they have today. This shortens the maceration time, resulting to pale red wine which is now called rose wines.

Notwithstanding the fact that the wine rose has been ignored and looked down in the last years, it is the hype of the new generation. According to Master Sommelier Alpana Singh at a Business Insider article written by Sarah Jacobs, “Millennials ‘Rose’ obsession won’t die anytime soon”. It is unpretentious and perfect for any occasion. #RoseAllDay is not just a hashtag, it is a cultural movement sparked by Instagram.

Rose Wine and Puglia

With more than 1/8 of the Countries vineyards, Puglia is often considered the wine cellar of Italy. Despite the fact that Rose Wines are produced in many wineries around the world, a small region called “Puglia“ in the South of Italy produces the finest of Rosato or Rose wine. This region grows more than 20 grape varieties and with the Mediterranean climate, growing pink wines in this area produces a terrific body and intense fruity notes. These flavors are rich and mouthwatering perfect with fresh seafoods, a simple salad or a creamy burrata topped with tomatoes.

Below are the list of the Top 5 Rose Wines you have to try on your visit to Italy. You can find most of them in Puglia.

1. Five Roses


  • Region : Puglia IGT
  • Producer: Leone de Castris
  • Grapes: Negroamaro 90% , Malvasia Nero di Lecce 10%
  • Maturation: At least 1 month in steel tanks
  • Bottle Aging: At least 1 month
  • Alcohol: 12.5%
  • In the eyes; Crystalline cherry-red color
  • In the nose; fruity scents with cherry and strawberry
  • In the mouth; fresh, smooth and nicely persistent.
  • Perfect paired with fish soup, boiled and white meat.
  • In 1943, Five Roses was the first Rose wine bottled and sold in Italy.
  • It is said that the name “Five Roses” was taken from the fact that every Leone de Castris has five children for many generations. Five Roses was born before the end of WW2, when General Charles Poletti, commissioner for the allied forces, asked for a large quantity of rose wine, but he wanted it to have an American Name.

2. Rosé Cuvée Dry

  • Region : Italy
  • Producer: Piera Martellozzo 075 Carati
  • Grapes: Raboso del Piave 85% , Pinot Nero 15%
  • Alcohol: 12%
  • In the eyes; Light Cherry medium deep rose color
  • In the nose; Bouquet of flowers with hints of rose, violets, red berries, strawberry and raspberry
  • In the mouth; youthful mousse and acidity, fresh red berries with long creamy finish
  • Perfect paired with white meats, seafood and canapes
  • Although this wine is not as popular with the other rose wines, it has grown its popularity in the last years. This wine is difficult to find.

3. Castel Del Monte Rosato


  • Region : Bari, Italy
  • Producer: Cantina di Ruvo SOC, COOP, IGR
  • Grapes: Bombino Nero in Purezza
  • Alcohol: 11.5%
  • In the eyes; pink coral in color
  • In the nose; Ripe Watermelon, honeydew rind and daffodill
  • In the mouth; notes of raspberry, sweet mint, cotton candy and baby’s breath
  • Perfect paired with baked ham, Turkey and Grilled Salmon

4. Polvanera A Brut Rose

  • Region : Puglia IGP
  • Producer: Cantine Polvanera
  • Grapes: Primitivo 100%
  • Alcohol: 12%
  • In the eyes; intense coral red with sparkling perlage
  • In the nose; delicate scents of strawberry, cherry, rose petal and mandarin
  • In the mouth; full sip, enhanced by a sapid character; charming and coherent, with pleasant bitterness in the end
  • Perfect paired with cold cuts, soft-ripened cheeses, entrées with tomato sauce, fish soup and white meat
  • This organic wine is hard to find, with price higher than the average Puglian Wine. Check with your merchant if Metodo Charmat or Metodo Classico.

5. Cantele Negroamaro Rosato

  • Region : Guagnano (LE) Italy
  • Producer: Cantele
  • Grapes: Negroamaro 100%
  • Alcohol: 12%
  • In the eyes; Soft pink-rosé
  • In the nose; Essence of geranium and rose combined with strawberry and cherry. Sweet and nuanced on the nose, with noteworthy tenacity
  • In the mouth; The wine’s impressive alcohol is balanced by its delicate flavors and light, bright freshness, elegance, and persistence
  • Perfect paired with Excellent with cheese soufflé, vegetable torts, and intensely flavored seafood and soups. Eggs, poached or scrambled, are also a favorite pairing
  • The grapes are macerated 12-24 hours to extract the correct color from the skins and the classic aromatic notes of Negroamaro.
  • Cantele wines are a must-try. They started early 20th Century against the backdrop of a still sepia-toned Italy.

Grape Varieties Use to Make WIne

Amongst the hundreds of grape varieties produced in Italy, here are few of them use in Rosato production.

  • NegroamaroBrings out fruity rosé wines with a pleasant bitter finish.
  • Aglianico – produces approachable, ready-to-drink pink wine. 
  • Bombino Neroproduces high in acidity, low in sugar, zesty, and light-bodied. 
  • Cannonau –  produces rounded body with flavors of juicy red berries, crushed flowers and herbs. This grape variety is not native to Italy. It is called Garnacha in Spain. 
  • Corvinaproduces fresh, zesty and light-bodied, with crisp red berry tones and delicate floral and spice nuances
  • Gaglioppo bright, refreshing acidity in the wines.
  • Gropello zesty and crisp, with ample herbal and floral tones alongside crunchy red berry and orchard fruit flavors.
  • LambruscoBold, rich cherry, plum and violet tones are balanced out by racy acidity and in some cases, bubbles.
  • Lagrein inky and bold.
  • Montepulciano – produces juicy berry and herb flavors of the variety.
  • NebbioloOne of Italy’s greatest red grapes behind Barolo and Barbaresco.
  • Nerello Mascalese – savory, racy rosatos and unique salinity unlike any other.
  • Nero d’Avolaeasy-drinking rosato wines.
  • Primitivo – produces bombastic berry, spice and floral tones.
  • Sangiovese – bright acidity and a wine of elegance.