Cloud Nine Aspen Entourage Rose

Dry, light and easy, exuding the good life, could be a description of skiing the blue run down to lunch at Aspen’s Cloud Nine Bistro on a sunny day. But it’s actually the definition of the riotous restaurant’s proprietary patio pour, Entourage Rose.

Born from friendship and fun in the French sun, Entourage® Rosé is winter’s best quaff, according to Cloud Nine’s manager Tommy Tollesson. The Swedish ski bum-turned-restauranteur was inspired to add rosé to Aspen’s après authenticity while partying in St. Tropez with longtime ski friend Gunnar Sachs and college ski buddy Julien Dreyfus. Intrinsically dry with only 0.7g residual sugars, the wine they concocted is a “pure and qualitative” Côtes de Provence AOC, which pairs just as well with powdery pistes as with playtime à la plage.

“Day drinking on a St. Tropez beach or on an Aspen mountaintop have a lot in common. It’s about the place and memories you share with your friends or your entourage,” says Tollesson, who – as someone who started his ski bum days in the ‘80s fresh from Sweden, burger-flipping and bar-tending around Aspen, and racing in the Highlands’ mogul competitions – should know.

Entourage Rose Wine at Cloud Nine Aspen
Entourage Rose Wine at Cloud Nine Aspen

“After our Friday race, we were always in search of après-ski European style and were typically the last guys to leave Schwanie’s bar,” Tollesson recounts. That’s where he met Gunnar Sachs, son of mathematician, filmmaker, photographer and multi-millionaire playboy Gunter Sachs, and later – after a riotous university ski trip – piste and party partner Julien Dreyfus.

Tollesson and Sachs would go on to establish Elevation, an underground venue that rocked Aspen from 2000 to 2013, while Dreyfus went into consulting to food and drink ventures. Every summer the entourage met at Sachs’ Mediterranean manse, which Tollesson describes as “one of the most iconic and best-preserved secret places in the area, an idyllic estate that originated in the ’60s, hosted legendary parties and crowds that contributed to the international reputation St. Tropez enjoys to this day.”

The Aspen – St. Tropez entourage annually attracted multi-cultural, likeminded revelers, contributing a certain lightness of life. “Today’s social media pressure is eroding souls and leading us toward a type of rampant individualism aiming at being perfect for everyone else to see,” Dreyfus says. “Yesterday’s simplicity of living in the moment was in essence what could have you sitting at a dinner between Andy Warhol and a St. Tropez fisherman, literally binding people to the moment and enjoying it to its core.”

After Tollesson took the helm of Cloud Nine in 2013, upgrading with “some new speakers and a slight concept tweak,” the now iconic venue turned into European après-ski on steroids, quickly followed by beach brainstorming and the birth of Entourage® Rosé, “the perfect product that could both cater to the international crowd, as well as imbibe the spirit of our elders who were true glamorous St. Tropez pioneers.

“In essence, we thought of how to give back some of that love, while sharing and celebrating our Entourage’s inheritance.”

Since the first Entourage® Rosé vintage debuted in 2017 – launched simultaneously in Aspen and St. Tropez – its allure has proliferated pistes and patios from Saint Barthélemy to Curaçao, to the Bahamas, California, Florida, as well as iconic Alpine spots far and wide and new European and US venues, including door-to-door via Vino Shipper and Entourage’s® digital and social media.

A pinch of Provence, an extract of Aspen, as well as lower sulfites and no added sugar means less hangover potential, depending of course on the quantity quaffed. Having no added sugar also allows the traditional Provencal Cinsault and Grenache grapes to dominate, while consistent quality is ensured by exceptional Côtes de Provence soil, varying harvesting times, proper pressing, fermentation, resting, and overall timing strategies.

Entourage Rose Wine at Cloud Nine Aspen
Entourage Rose Wine at Cloud Nine Aspen

“These elements are key to producing a high-quality product that will both look and taste spectacular, vintage after vintage,” Tollesson says. An easy-drinking wine with both heritage and love, reflected by the heart-shaped olive tree at the Sachs’ estate, which faces Pampelonne Bay and provides a poignant Provençal photo op for both boaties and bathers.

Though the best places for rosé and revelry will always be with the Cloud Nine entourage on a bluebird downhill day, or people-watching from Senequier at St. Tropez harbor.