In February 2020, Cru Tavel made its founding call: “Terroir Rosés, unite!”, considering that rosé has become a wine in its own right but has yet to find its place in the world of terroir wines and that there are more terroir rosés today, but that their visibility and perceived value remain insufficient. In the months that followed, a pioneering group of winemakers was formed with the ambition of supporting and even accelerating the recognition of terroir rosés. On the 19th of March 2021, the AIRT was created in Tavel by several dozen winemakers from all over France, with the objective of favouring the creation, enhanced value and development of a genuine market segment dedicated to this type of rosé.
Today, there is clearly a new dynamic, with many new candidates eager to join the AIRT. In the space of two years, some fifty winemakers have applied, and this is only the beginning. There are now 42 winemakers in the association, versus 28 when it was founded (+50% in the last two years). 39 hail from all over France and 3 from Italy. Iconic terroir rosés have joined, alongside a new generation of winemakers. To date, 45 cuvées are AIRT members. The association considers that a terroir rosé must be qualitative, complex but also striking and original, thanks to its natural location (specific features) as well as to its winemaker (personality, talent).
This dynamic is a game changer in the world of rosé wines. For terroir rosés, both supply and demand are growing in France and on a number of foreign markets (in particular in the United States), in addition to a demand for trendy rosé wines that began in the 2000s. Gradually, great chefs are joining the movement. Almost every month, a new chef works with their sommelier to imagine an “Experience” based on terroir rosés. Starred chef Nicolas DURIF from the Hysope restaurant in La Jarrie (Charente-Maritime, France) is really passionate about these rosé wines and has become the emblematic pioneer of the “terroir rosés, rosés for chefs” approach. Wine merchants, chefs and other inquisitive and forward-thinking prescribers are now entering the terroir rosé community.
To support this dynamic, the AIRT even validated the creation of the world’s first cellar dedicated to ageing of terroir rosés on the 13th of December 2022. Each year, members of the association will cellar a few bottles of their new vintages. Regular tastings will allow them to monitor the potential of these rosé wines over time. By means of an allocation system, partner chefs and wine merchants will be able to keep their selection of “collector rosés”.
« I thank the International Association of Terroir Rosés (IATR) for electing me as its president. Their trust and friendship are an honour, but I know that I also have to live up to that trust.
Our association was founded 2 years ago, almost to the day. We already have 42 winemaker members and promote 45 cuvées from France and Italy. We owe this momentum to my predecessor Guillaume DEMOULIN from Château Trinquevedel in AOP Tavel and I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate him.
It is now up to me to ensure that our young association is known and recognised as the ambassador of the world’s great terroir rosés. Its internationalisation will be my priority.
Now, in accordance with our founding call of February 2020, “Terroir Rosés, unite!” launched by the Tavel AOP, I invite the winemakers who craft the greatest terroir rosés in the world to join us.
After 20 years of historic growth, the rosé market is now entering a new phase in its development, with an opportunity to diversify the rosé wines we offer, in particular through terroir rosés which occupy a position on a high-value niche market. The creation of a collector rosé segment, including wines with cellaring potential of up to ten years, could even be considered.
My view is that terroir rosés are real wines first and foremost. Through their tastes and colours, they tell stories of places and of winemakers that are often unique, but they also pair beautifully with meals and with extremely varied cuisine as shown by the “terroir rosé, a rosé for chefs” experiences moderated each month by the association. In addition, terroir rosés are not intended to follow fashions. They are timeless rosés that assert their uniqueness. The diversity of the wines co-opted by the association is therefore essential. Finally, terroir rosés are crafted to allow them to gain complexity after several years of cellaring. By creating the world’s first cellar consisting of collector rosés, I’m convinced that our association will become a reference in this field. In light of their character and consumption mode, great terroir rosés are a genuine complement to trendy easy-drinking rosés.
In this context, our international association can and must take the lead in offering rosés that are “different and surprising, by nature and over time”, to quote one of our slogans ».