Thank God It’s Roséday Friday

by Pamela O'Neill

Dalida Sarkissian, assistant mayor of Bandol; Alain Guilhot, lighting designer; Virginie Dubille, Château Léoube communication director; Alexander Durand-Viel, Château de la Messardière general manager; Valérie Rouselle, OIR president; Fabienne Joly, OIR vice-president; and Florent Crocé-Spinelli, Château Saint-Esprit. Photo by Pamela O'Neill

Second in a series of articles about International Rosé Day

I found myself in St. Tropez this week at the elegant Château de la Messardière, a five-star hotel overlooking the bay of Pampelonne where I attended an official press conference on the inauguration of International Rosé Day, brainchild of the Organisation Internationale du Rosé (OIR).   Despite rosé’s 2600 year history here in Provence, this newborn holiday was inspired by its much more recent and thoroughly modern makeover which has, at long last, established pink as a color that counts in the world of wine.  Although spearheaded in Provence, incontestable ambassador of pink, Rosé Day is intended as a worldwide celebration with international producers, distributors, and wine lovers encouraged to mark the day — the 22nd of June — in their own unique style.

Pamela O’Neill, PWZ Contributor, and Valérie Rouselle, owner of Château Roubine and Château Sainte-Béatrice, toast #roseday

At the helm of the project, Valérie Rouselle, owner of Château Roubine and Château Sainte-Béatrice, explained the thinking behind selecting the month of June to pay tribute to a wine that, for all pink-blooded Provençaux at heart, is the pan-seasonal nectar of choice.  The answer, quite simply, is that the mere thought of rosé summons a sun blazing in azure blue skies, days that last forever, cigales a-singing, and vacation from care at any time of the year.  It is the soul of summer in a glass.  So Rosé Day will forevermore join the summer solstice (well, in the northern hemisphere) and, here in France, the Festival of Music at the end of June to herald us swinging and sipping into the heart of summer.  Rather than schedule the annual fête on a specific date, Rosé Day will be fêted on whatever date falls on the fourth Friday in June.  As Valérie put it, Friday’s “esprit after-work” aligns perfectly with the convivial personality of rosé (though, truth be known, nary a brow is raised in village cafés at a pre-work rosé).

St. Tropez has been designated Rosé Day epicenter with plans for gastronomic, vinicultural, and other activities afoot, including a gala event with a surprise celebrity DJ.  The pièce de résistance will be the lighting of the Citadel at the mouth of the Gulf of St. Tropez, where it has reigned over the village and bay since the early 1600s.  The choice of the Citadel to coronate International Rosé Day is not only befitting given its lofty position, visible for miles in all directions, but, as charismatic architectural lighting designer Alain Guillot, introduced by Valérie as “The Prince of Light,” reminded us, it also houses the tropézienne maritime history museum, which chronicles the port’s historical importance to the region’s wine trade since ancient Greek occupation.  And what were the Greeks trading?  Aye, rosé.  At precisely 7 p.m., Alain’s artistry will be revealed as the fortress is robed in 50 shades of pink while the rosé faithful, at myriad celebrations around the globe, simultaneously raise a glass in homage.  (See previous article in PWZ for some locales and watch for others to be announced.)

Fabienne Joly, president of the Centre du Rosé and vice president of the OIR, announced that the center will host a reception on the afternoon of the 22nd focused on their remarkable research, which addresses issues such as aroma and color, climate change, and vinification techniques.  Located in Vidauban in the Var, their mission has long been to share information not only with rosé producers in Provence but throughout the world.

With eight weeks still to go until kick-off, I will undoubtedly be spoiled for choice as to where to raise my glass on Rosé Day.  Thus far, there are close to 100 participants who have jumped on the bandwagon orchestrating events in village squares, vineyards, and cafés and restaurants throughout Provence.  While sipping a lovely rosé from Château Roubine and munching delectable canapés, I learned from Virginie Dubille, director of communication for Château Léoube, that a festive do is in the works down in Bormes-les-Mimosas, to be held at Café de Léoube on Pellegrin Beach.  Très tempting!  I am most excited, however, to learn where you have raised your glass, so don’t forget to post with #roséday.

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22-6-2018 19:00
22-6-2018 19:30
International Rosé Day
Celebrate International Rosé Day by toasting with others around the world with a glass of rosé at 7:00 p.m. (French time)



  1. Pamela, thank you for bringing to our attention another important day (and excuse) to drink wine. Did you know that this year on June 22nd it is also National Chocolate Eclair Day? Can you recommend a rosé to pair with my chocolate eclair? Also, did you know that June 23rd is National Pink Day? How appropriate! I think Valérie is trying to get us to drink rosé for two days in a row! Pourquoi pas?

    • Pamela O'Neill May 3, 2018 at 5:13 am

      You are quite welcome Peter. It won’t be me blamed for missing an important, um, day to drink wine. However, I can be blamed for missing the extent to which Roséday falls in such illustrious company, as though the Fête de la Musique and the summer solstice were not enough! And I might, though doubtful, have forgotten to drink rosé on the 23rd of June had you not informed me that it was Pink Day. I am in your debt. Pourquoi pas salute Valérie for her efforts on our behalf by pairing your éclair with a lovely 2017 La Vie en Rose from Château Roubine? We at PWZ will be waiting to hear how you celebrated these très festive occasions!

  2. Pamela,
    I love the way you write, and have been inspired to run to Whole Foods to stock up on your recommendations. Can you also recommend a great sparkling rose? I prefer something quite dry.

    • Pamela O'Neill May 5, 2018 at 7:43 am

      Hi Barbara. Great idea. Let me know what you think. I’m rather partial to Château Léoube’s Sparkling de Léoube. Mirabeau en Provence (the canette people) have just introduced an new sparkling rosé, La Folie, made using the charmat method, like Prosecco. Very light, dry, and fresh. Unfortunately, it won’t be in the US till next year but watch out for it.

  3. Joseph McClain May 3, 2018 at 8:03 pm

    Loved Pamela´s article! So longing for a good rosê!!! Had a long discussion with the guys in the big San Miguel de Allende wine shop that services all of Mexico about Rosés just today! They showed me one that was sort of electric orange. I said no. And envied you all in the photos with that very special color of a good Provençal Rosè. Brava Pamela. Keep up the good reporting.

    • Pamela O'Neill May 5, 2018 at 7:46 am

      Oh no, Joseph. Now I feel cruel for teasing you! Online perhaps? I will remember to drink a glass for you on Roséday.

  4. Great article…..but then again, you always write interesting articles. I enjoy your photos, too! Can’t wait to sample some suggestion Thanks, Pam!

  5. Patricia Newman May 4, 2018 at 1:59 am

    Great article Pamela. I shall rush out to stock up on copious quantities of rosé now so I don’t miss the boat!!

  6. An elegant, delicious rosé deserves to have its own International day! Vive la rosé and thanks for the heads-up Pam xx

  7. Beautifully written and makes me, a red wine lover, want to give rosė a serious try. Pamela’s capacity to make something as potentially boring as a wine-event interesting, shows her mastery of the english language and flair for finding the right phrase to express her thoughts. Only wish that I could see her eyes in the photo.

    • Pamela O'Neill May 5, 2018 at 7:59 am

      Brynn, a potential convert! Never thought I’d see the day. Excellent news. I was winking behind those shades.

  8. Great article Pamela. You do write so well. Thank you for all the info. We must stock up in rosé for the summer. Perhaps you can advise us. Keep up reporting Pamela and thank you again.

    • Pamela O'Neill May 5, 2018 at 8:01 am

      Thank you André. I’d be happy to make some suggestions and to pop over when you’ve stocked up!

  9. Great news. Great idea. Thanks Pam!

  10. Well, I for one will be sailling in to Pellegrin. Hope you can join us on board Pam.

  11. Salut Pam, As always a well thought-out article. Historical and contemporary wine-making in your interesting piece. Inspired me to stop by Chateau Fontainbleau – somewhere between Montfort and Brignoles – for a bottle of their rose – highly recommended by this hitherto red wine drinker. Keep on writing and keep us thinking about good things Pam!

  12. Ah, good choice. I am a fan of Fontainebleau’s wines! Stock up for Roséday.

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