Thinking of getting married soon? As we all know, roses have been used to symbolise and celebrate marriage and everlasting love in England for centuries. What better way to celebrate your love, then sharing a glass (or two) of sparkling rose petal wine, made entirely from Devon roses.
We've been busy in the last few weeks making sparkling rose petal wine.
All the roses have been picked by hand from local Devon gardens, including from the gardens at Torre Abbey in Torquay, Devon. To capture the gorgeous, delicate scent, we pick the roses in full bloom, literally within a day or two of the flowers opening. We predominately use red roses, to create the reddish-pink colour of the sparkling wine, and a few pink and pale coloured ones with plenty of fragrance.
Three of our our favourite roses to use in Sparkling Rose Petal wine are....
Rose 'Agatha Christie' is a delicately-scented mid-pink, climbing, double rose, named after the legendary crime writer who was born just down the road in Torquay. It is a repeat flowering-type, meaning we can pick more later in the season.
Like Agatha, a flower that adds intrigue, complexity and hidden layers of depth to our drink.
Rose 'Cardinal de Richelieu'is a traditional 'old rose' species-type with the most intoxicating fragrance you could possibly imagine. Starting off deep red, it reflexes its petals to transform into an a ball of deep purple blooms. It is an absolute favourite of ours, whether we're admiring it in the garden, or using it to make sparkling rose petal wine. Best of all, it's arching stems are almost thornless, unlike the real, Cardinal de Richelieue the prickly and thorny character, who was First Minister to Louis XIII in 17th Century France, and featured in Alexander Dumas' Three Musketeers as the cunning and ruthless villain.
Like the cardinal, this rose adds a beguiling wickedness and decadence to our sparkling rose petal wine.
Rose 'Darcey Bussell' is the quintessential English red rose which has deep scarlet, double blooms, almost velvety in texture with a fruity fragrance. It is a compact, shrubby rose, meaning it is easy to harvest the petals. Named after the acclaimed ballerina, who was amazingly appointed Principle of the Royal Ballet at the age of just 20.
Like Darcey, this rose provides an uplifting bounce to our Sparkling rose petal wine, and is guaranteed to keep you on your toes and put a bounce into your step. One too many sips though and you could be pirouetting across your kitchen floor.
All our sparkling wines are made using the traditional champagne method, whereby they are fermented in the bottle, individually turned daily (riddled) in a pupitre (wine rack) for 6 week, before being disgorged and sealed with a champagne cork.
Above - Ali Marshall, head gardener at Torre Abbey harvesting a few blooms of the Agatha Christie rose for us to use in our Sparkling Rose Petal Wine.
Left to right, 1) Darcey Bussell rose, 2) roses in a barrel ready to make wine, and 3) Ali, head gardener harvesting roses at Torre Abbey.