This winemaking process involves 'bleeding' (drawing-off) a portion of red wine after only a short period of time - (a short contact of the juice with the grape skins). Because the colour of red wine is derived from pigments in the grape skins, the resulting juice is a pale, light or bright pink - but not red. This process is how many rosé wines are made, the only exception being Champagne Rosé - where they are typically made by blending red juice , with the main body of white wine before the secondary fermentation in bottle. Though for still rosé wines some believe that the best wines are made by the saignée method.
The rest of the winemaking process, steps remain basically unchanged in that there is a progression of alcoholic fermentation, filtering, and then bottling all in a short space of time.


The difference between simply macerating the wine and removing the 'must' and saignée - is that the wine left after the bleed-off is often still being made into a more concentrated red wine, and the rosé is a by-product.
So the saignée method can be used by winemakers wishing to increase the intensity in their red wines. In this case, only a small portion of juice is bled away (removed) from the skins to make a rosé. But the remaining juice stays in contact with the skins. Because there is a greater surface area ratio of skins to juice after the bleed, so more colour (and possibly complexity) can be extracted from the skins into the red wine-to-be. As a result, some people refer to rosé made by the saignée process as a by-product of red wine production.
Some top rosé producers, particularly in the south of France, prefer not to 'bleed' their grape juice. Instead, they treat red grapes destined for rosé much as they would grapes for a white wine. After the grapes are harvested, they are crushed and quickly pressed or whole cluster pressed - just as white wine grapes are - directly into the fermenter. In this way, there is little or short skin maceration.
Not surprisingly, wines made in this fashion can be a lighter shade of pink, but not lighter in character. Enjoy these rosé wines in their youth and served at approx 7-9ºC.