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French Flair Brings Pink Valley’s Exceptional Rosé Wine to Stellenbosch Helderberg Region

Pink Valley Wines Premium Rosé | Helderberg - South Africa

A new French-South Africa wine venture focussing exclusively on the making of classic rosé wines on the slopes of Stellenbosch’s renowned Helderberg wine region was launched this week with the first vintage of Pink Valley Rosé 2019. The Pink Valley property incorporates nine hectares of vines, the Pink Valley Restaurant and a winery, the only in South Africa built and used exclusively for the making of rosé wines.

Pink Valley is owned by Oddo Vins & Domaines, a French wine company belonging to father and daughter Pascal and Lorraine Oddo, with wine ventures in Provence and Sancerre (France), Rioja in Spain and in Sicily. In investing in Pink Valley, the Oddos partnered with their compatriot and wine investor Bertrand Otto, whose knowledge of the global wine industry and special love of the Cape winelands encouraged them to invest in South Africa.

According to Schalk-Willem Joubert, managing director and winemaker at Pink Valley, the Provençal roots of the Oddo family drove them to the Cape with the view of owning vineyards and making classic rosé wines in a country they deem to be one of the world’s leading wine-producing nations.

“At the heart of the Pink Valley concept lies the continual growth in popularity in rosé wines world-wide and the Oddo family’s vision of making a unique style of rosé expressing the terroir through a wine they are familiar with,” says Joubert.

In France the Oddos make rosé in the Vallon des Glauges estate in the mountainous Alpilles region between Eyguières and Baux-de-Provence. According to Joubert, who has extensive experience on Vallon des Glauges in preparation for the making of rosé at Pink Valley, the aim is to elevate the profile of rosé as a premium quality wine style, as is the case in France.

“Both in colour and flavour profile, the objective is to through Pink Valley offer a rosé wine of classic style and top-end elegance, whilst maintaining rosé’s image as a fashionable, lifestyle wine,” he says. “Internationally rosé sales are maintaining an upward curve, and along with this there is growing recognition and acceptance of premium-priced, quality rosé wines.”

The first Pink Valley Rosé is made from the 2019 vintage and incorporates the grape varieties Grenache, Shiraz, Sangiovese and Cinsault. The wine was made in Pink Valley’s winery equipped for rosé production exclusively, with a capacity for 200 tons of harvested grapes.

“It is all about timing, as whatever rosé wants to be, you have to capture freshness,” says Joubert. Grapes were cooled to 4°C before destemming to minimize oxidation before being crushed into a pneumatic press with press cycle of 45 minutes, the amount of time the juice spends in contact with their red skins.

The juice spent five weeks in stainless steel, cooled to 2°C degrees to prevent fermentation. “This is where the classic onion skin colour is achieved,” says Joubert.  “During this time the phenols settle at the bottom of the tank resulting in the light colour we want.”

The juice was then transferred to other tanks for fermentation, which lasted 23 days. The wine was racked off fermentation lees and kept on fine lees, with regular stirring for five months prior to bottling, the lees contact resulting in wine with viscosity and a supple mouthfeel and a modest alcohol level of 12%.

Pink Valley Rosé is complemented by the colourful artistry inspired by South African painter Walter Battiss (1906 to 1982), one of South Africa’s foremost abstract painters and known as the creator of the quirky “Fook Island” concept. His visual language insists on being both abstract and witty with a tendency towards caricature and cartoon encapsulates much of his work.

Pascal Oddo, owner of Oddo Vins & Domaines that began the Stellenbosch Pink Valley project 11 months ago, says that South Africa is becoming a sought-after destination for international wine companies.

“The country’s history in vini and viticulture, the spirit of innovation among the modern wine community and some of the most magnificent terroir-offerings anywhere in the world make South Africa one of the most attractive wine countries for French wine companies such as ourselves to invest in,” says Oddo. “With Pink Valley’s offering of a premier rosé wine as well as a restaurant set in the magnificent Helderberg region of Stellenbosch, we look forward to playing a role in the dynamic wine and wine hospitality sectors for which South Africa is truly world famous.”

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Stop and smell the Rosé

Pink Valley Wines News Food & Wine | Stop and smell the Rosé

Is rosé wine nature’s way of blushing? I’d like to think so. Ranging in shades from hot pink to the more coppery onion skin, rosé has never been more popular. It fell out of favour for decades but, in recent times, has become the most trendy style of wine around the globe, with millennials once again being blamed for its popularity. While this is partly true, rosé wine production has also massively improved over the years and is no longer just a by-product of red wine-making.

Winemakers the world over have channelled their focus into producing the best-possible pink from their grapes, and many of the wines offer outstanding value in comparison to quality. Paradoxically, pink bubblies are generally higher in price than their brut counterparts, as to produce a rosé Champagne or MCC, a still pinot noir wine first needs to be made as a base, and this ups the production cost. The other thing making rosé so popular? It’s the ultimate summer wine, conjuring up languid al fresco lunches, sunsets on the beach and days spent in the pool. It also happens to be the colour of love. That’s why this February we’re saying yes to rosé.

A first for South Africa, the new Pink Valley estate has taken up residence on the slopes of Stellenbosch’s renowned Helderberg and exclusively produces rosé. A joint French- South African venture, the Pink Valley Rosé 2019 is a triumph of onion skin colouring, with copper-pink highlights. A blend of grenache, shiraz, sangiovese and cinsault, the wine is elegance itself, with flavours of watermelon, cherry, strawberry and citrus, and thanks to extended lees contact, a luscious mouthfeel. The same wine comes with four different labels, all by the late South African artist Walter Battiss.h African artist Walter Battiss.

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From cellar to Rosé bar

Pink Valley Wines | From cellar to Rosé bar

Pink Valley, the new winery devoted to the production of rosy-hued wine, has opened a tapas and Rosé bar. On the slopes of the Helderberg, a cellar has been given new life as a stylish gathering spot. Interior designer Pieter Burger, who with Ziana Firmani transformed the space, tells MARGUERITE VAN WYK about the cellar’s rebirth.

 MvW: Why did the winemaker, Schalk Willem Joubert, want to open a Rosé and tapas bar?

PB: It makes perfect sense to have a restaurant where you can have wine and food pairings. What could be more relaxing than sipping a Rosé and sampling a delectable dish? Like the wine estate, the restaurant is called Pink Valley because the estate is renowned for making premium Rosé.

MvW: What were the greatest challenges to creating this restaurant?

PB: We had to start from scratch. Although only a brick building with a door, the cellar had loads of potential. Our job was to give it soul, and that meant introducing light. People don’t want to eat in a dark dungeon and we had to work creatively with natural light. So on the upper deck we put in doors that open onto verandas with spectacular views as far as False Bay. The overall result gives us great pleasure and we hope to inspire many foodies and Rosé lovers.

A rosé bar must have a touch of pink, artfully complemented with earthy tones and natural materials. The colours find an echo in a large artwork by Walter Battiss, Walking Feathers, which adorns one wall and inspired the Pink Valley Wine labels.

MvW: How would you describe the vibe of the restaurant?

PB: The dining section is laid-back, ‘lived in’, with a classical, stylish vibe that is welcoming. The bar section is more slick and contemporary.

MvW: What gives the decor its distinctive style?

PB: The South African abstract painter Walter Battiss’s artwork Walking Feathers inspired the company logo and wine labels. A 2x2m print of one of his artworks adorns one of the walls and complements the colour scheme that I have played with: rich and earthy autumn colours such as dirty greens, brick, taupe and pink.

A green eco theme comes to the fore in the bathrooms, with their clean white tiles and a touch of drama coming through in the wallpaper.

MvW: What inspires you?

PB: Interacting with people. I used to be a corporate banker in Johannesburg but I always did styling, interior decorating and design on the side. They are my passion. For the past 18 years, however, I’ve been able to follow my heart. I love designing spaces as well. At least once a year I hone my creative skills by visiting top international interior and design shows like the Maison & Objet in Paris. Travelling stimulates creativity and opens up new horizons.