What Makes Lilly Rosé so Special?

Year's Best Rosé in Wine & Spirits Magazine
A ROSÉ MADE WITH INTENTION

This artisanal wine project has been an unhurried one. Some decisions have taken years to reach. But despite all of the unknown, there were two decisions that were easily made from the start – we would have an exceptional rosé – and we would save the name Lilly for something very special.

When it comes to making rosé you can go about it two ways. The approach that is less intentional, and more common among large producers is to make rosé and red wine at the same time. That means grapes meant for red wine – with dark skins, high sugars, and low acids – are picked together. Once brought to the cellar the grapes intended for rosé are destemmed and left to sit on their skins until the desired color is achieved. After around 6 hours, the juice is separated from its skins leaving a tank with very intense characteristics – characteristics better suited for red wine. So, to create a dry rosé, the winemaker will add balancing amounts of water and acid to the tank and sadly, the delicate traits that are so beautiful about rosé – are usually lost.

In contrast, Angela and Ruben monitored our vineyard under a watchful eye with rosé in mind. For this block, in particular, they farmed to a higher yield resulting in higher acid and lower sugar – exactly what you want in a fresh, dry rosé. For picking they waited until the average brix (sugar content) reached 22 – the optimal ripeness – and then sent out the picking team, carefully instructing them to only take the ripest clusters and leave the remaining for a future pick intended for Grenache. The grape clusters reached the cellar, still in the cool, early hours of the morning. They were lightly foot tread to break the berries, and sat on their skins for 24 hours, naturally achieving the most beautiful petal pink color. After going to crush, the juice was added to a very cold stainless steel tank to go through a very slow fermentation – the cooler the fermentation the more aromatic the wine.

Lilly Rosé 2016 Folded Hills Estate
MEANING BEHIND THE NAME LILLY

Just after fermentation started, Angela brought a few tank samples to the ranch. Our team sat around the kitchen drinking (but more so guzzling) this most delicious nectar. It was around 5% alcohol with the slightest effervescence. We knew we had something very special – something worthy of the name Lilly.

Lilly has been a family name for six generations, beginning with Lilly Anheuser, born in 1844 down to Kim and Andrew’s first granddaughter, Lilly, who just turned 1 year old.  At Folded Hills, family is everything – and in honor of that, we wanted each of the wines to be named after a piece of family history. It was perfectly fitting, that the name Lilly, representing an incredible lineage of woman – the feminine ideals of their time – be named for our first estate wine, that was now an antique rose gold in color, bright, feminine, and intensely aromatic.

Group Cheers Rosé Folded Hills Team
“TO LILLY, AND TO LILLY.”

And today we bottled Lilly! For such an important occasion Kim, Andrew, Lisa, Lacey, Jack and baby Lilly were all here – along with Angela, Ruben, and longtime family friend Kate Munsch – an incredible photographer, who captured the significant day so beautifully. The team celebrated with lunch at Bell Street Farm, just down the road shared a special toast, “to Lilly, and to Lilly.”

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