Rosé Wine Grapes

rose wine grapes - cabernet sauvignon grapes
Check out my happy Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. I use these to make a rose wine every year.

I’m always curious to know exactly what’s in my glass, and rosé is a perfect example of a wine where no one bottle seems to be the same.

Technically, winemakers can use any red grape to make a rose wine. Some rose wine grapes are more popular for making pink wines thanks to their flavor profiles, like Grenache, Pinot Noir, and Cinsault. Roses can be made from a single type of grape, or they can be a blend of grapes. This is up to the winemaker, and, in some cases, local regulations.

List of Wine Grapes that Make Rose Wine

Here’s a list of rosé wine grapes, along with some of the flavors you may find in your rosé wine: 

Rosé Wine Flavor Chart

Rosé Wine Flavor Chart

Wine Flavors
Aglianico rosé Passion fruit, strawberry, orange peel, white melon, resin
Bourboulenc rosé Pineapple, mint, orange, lime (used in blends)
Cabernet Franc rosé Jasmine, peach, green melon, mineral
Cabernet Sauvignon rosé Raspberry, red currant, spice
Carignan rosé Guava, honeydew, peach, apricot, hibiscus, mineral
Chambourcin rosé Strawberry, raspberry, passionfruit, pear, cherry
Chardonnay rosé Citrus, stone fruit, apple (used in blends)
Cinsault rosé Strawberry, cherry, raspberry, rose
Clairette rosé Apple, fennel, lime blossom, verbena, peach
Corvina rosé Strawberry, herb, blackberry, mineral
Gaglioppo rosé Watermelon, cherry, spice, citrus, perfume
Gamay rosé Strawberry, raspberry, currant, blood orange, spice, mineral
Grenache rosé Watermelon, strawberry, pineapple, kiwi, green apple, nectarine, melon
Groppello rosé Strawberry, raspberry, sweet spice, mineral, herbs
Lagrein rosé Wild strawberry, cherry, mineral
Marzemino rosé Strawberry, sour cherry, white almond
Mataro rosé Cherry, strawberry, raspberry, citrus
Merlot rosé Melon, citrus, cranberry, blueberry
Montepulciano rosé Cherry, cranberry, raspberry
Mourvedre/Monastrell rosé Peach, citrus, strawberry, cantaloupe, herbs, mint
Muscat rosé Grape, perfume, rose
Nebbiolo rosé Strawberry, red currant, citrus (lime, grapefruit), mineral
Negroamaro rosé Strawberry, cherry, green flower
Nero d’Avola rosé Pineapple, peach, pomegranate, pink grapefruit
Picpoul rosé Lime, lemon, grapefruit (used in blends)
Pinot Blanc rosé Strawberry, cherry, mint
Pinot Gris rosé Strawberry, honey, peach, melon, white blossom
Pinot Noir rosé Strawberry, cherry, rose, raspberry, stone
Sangiovese rosé Cherry, strawberry, sweet spice
Sauvignon Blanc rosé Passion fruit, citrus, herbs (used in blends)
Shiraz/Syrah rosé White cherry, citrus, lime, white pepper
Tempranillo rosé Watermelon, strawberry, white nectarine, green peppercorn
Xinomavro rosé Cherry, raspberry, quince, pomegranate, strawberry
Zinfandel rosé Strawberry, lemon, green melon, rose

Rose Wine Grapes: Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Know What Grape Is In My Rosé Wine?

rose wine grapes - pink bottles

Rosé wines can be made from one grape type (like Pinot Noir) or they can be made from a blend of grapes. Some traditional rosé wines are always made using a blend, like Cotes du Provence or Tavel. Unless the winemaker lists the grape variety on the label, you won’t necessarily know what grapes are in your pink wine, or how much of each grape is in the wine if it’s a blend. 

In some instances, if you’re really curious, you can look up the name of the wine you’re drinking using an internet search and add the words “technical sheet” after the wine’s name.

This will bring up the winemaking specifications, usually a .pdf file, and, sometimes, the producer will list the rose wine grapes in their wine.

It’s uncommon to list the type of grape used in inexpensive rosé wines, so don’t expect to find grape names on your pink wine bottle (or box).

Can Rosé Be Made From White Grapes?

can rose be made from white grapes - rose wine grapes

Winemakers can use white grapes for rosé wines if they are making a rosé by mixing together red and white wines. This method, called blending, isn’t common for rosé winemaking, but they do use it for inexpensive rosé wines as well as for pink Champagne. If a winemaker uses white grapes to make rose wine, she’ll have to use red grapes at some point to give the wine a pink hue.

Helpful Tip: Check out this overview post of how rose wines get their pink color.

You’ll notice some of the rosé wine grapes listed above are white grapes, like Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. The winemaker uses these grapes as part of their rosé blends. 

What Variety Is Rosé Wine?

Rose wine isn’t a variety of its own (there’s no rose “grape”). Instead, rosé can be made using any variety of red grapes.

Is Rose Wine Its Own Grape?

No, rosé wine isn’t its own grape. Winemakers can use any red grape, and sometimes even mix red and white wines together, to make rosé wines. Some grapes are popular for rosé wines because they make bright, fresh rosé wines, like Pinot Noir and Grenache.

Is Pinot Noir Rose the Same as Rosé?

is pinot noir rose the same as rose - rose wine grapes

No, Pinot Noir rosé isn’t the same as rosé. Rose is a style of wine and Pinot Noir rose falls into that style. Other red grapes, like Merlot, Zinfandel, or Grenache, can also make rosé wines. 

A good analogy is cars.

A Ferrari is a type of car, but not all cars are Ferraris. So, a Pinot Noir rosé is a type of rosé, but not all rosés are Pinot Noirs. Make sense?

Thirsty for More?

Do you love pink wines? Go check out this helpful post: what is rose wine? that dives into how roses are made.

And here’s a helpful post on how much you should be spending on rose winesSpoiler Alert: They should be affordable!

Discover: Goat Cheese and Wine Pairing Guide and this Rose Cheese Pairing Guide for more fun cheese and wine pairing ideas.

Looking for something different? Here’s a fun post on Why Smell Your Wine with Your Mouth Open?

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