Though rose winemaking has since become more sophisticated, the first known rose wines in ancient Greece were made by diluting wines of co-fermented white and red grapes. Though today we think of Provence as the heart of rose production in France - and perhaps the world - rose wines were first brought to Massalia, or Marseilles, which provided inspiration to the Romans when they arrived in Provence.
The Provençal style of rose is pale, delicate and refreshing, with a very short maceration on skins to extract just a hint of colour, but no perceptible tannins. Other roses, from Spain or Italy, for example, can often be deeper in colour and riper in fruit character. Often criticised for being a simple and nondescript sipper for summer weather, many roses are truly complex, concentrated and simply delicious.