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The Booming Rosé Industry Is Changing Lives in Southern France

Everything's coming up rosé.

Salva Barbera/Flickr

Even if you're not a wine drinker, it has been impossible to miss the explosion of rosé wine that's hit the market in recent years. According to NPR, the amount of the blush-colored wine imported to the United States from the Mediterranean has skyrocketed in the past decade. Most of it is coming from the southern region of France, an area that was once known for its olive trees, but is quickly becoming synonymous with rosé.

Two winemakers that are capitalizing on the booming rosé business are third-generation vintners Didier and Robert Blanc. The brothers are owners of the Saint Firmin vineyard in Uzes, located in Southern France. Because neither of them speak English, they were hesitant to get into the American wine industry, but due to the popularity of rosé, many American importers have reached out to them. Although only their second year exporting to the U.S., they say sales are so high they ran out of rosé last year, and expect to sell out again this year. The Blancs also explained that the wine is made from grenache grapes and that a good rosé should be a very pale pink, almost gray in color — the lighter, the better.

The Blancs are not the only ones whose lives are changing due to the increased demand for rosé. Many winemakers are cashing in on the popularity of the wine, creating everything from traditional rosés to unconventional varieties. Restaurants are also joining the bandwagon, many offering rosé-based cocktails, in addition to serving it by the glass. For those who prefer to sip their chilled wine 30,000 feet in the air, Jet Blue is also pouring the trendy wine on domestic flights. The rosé craze is showing no sign of slowing down.

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