A Local Wine Importer Is Bringing a New Beverage to the South Bay—and It’s Delicious

Roseade all day.

  • Category
    Eat & Drink, People
  • Written by
    Amber Klinck
  • Photographed by
    Shane O’Donnell

It started with a 2018 Instagram post, some catchy branding and an intriguing concept. A new beverage called Roseade—a rosé wine-meets-lemonade spritzer—caught the attention of Karl Ziegler. 

But with more than 25 years of experience in the wine industry, Karl needed more than cool packaging to keep his interest piqued. He wanted to know if the product behind the playful pink-and-yellow label lived up to its logo. Was it any good? 

Rosé, as you may have noticed, has been having a bit of a moment. In order to stay on top of current demand, wineries have been producing a lot of it—sometimes resulting in a surplus. When Lee Smallman’s Chirping Bird Wines in Victoria, Australia, had an oversupply, Lee saw it as an opportunity to think outside the box. He could sell his excess of rosé at a loss, or he could create something new. 

Lee started playing around with different combinations of flavors before landing on a lemonade-infused rosé. “It was actually inspired by sangria. That’s where he got the idea to mix the wine with the fruit juice,” Karl notes. 

“There’s also a bit of spritz that really elevates it,” adds Victoria Ash. “It makes it pop.” 

Victoria is also a wine industry pro with more than two decades of experience under her belt. That’s how she and Karl met before they became husband and wife. To say Karl values her feedback as a partner as well as a professional would be an understatement. 

“I’ve been leaning on her because she’s so talented at crafting a story,” Karl says. “And we’re so supportive of each other,” Victoria adds. “It’s nice to have someone who’s in the same industry who always has your back.” 

“It’s been a big leap of faith—like off the side of a cliff!”

From the moment Karl started talking to Victoria about Roseade, she knew he had found something special. The first sample she tasted confirmed it. “It’s pretty much all I want to drink,” Victoria says. “We’re both serious wine people, but when I’m outdoors and the sun is shining, this is what I want.”

After years of importing incredible wines from small family producers, Roseade certainly has a different vibe in comparison to the brands Karl typically works with. “He’s focused on bringing over products that are made responsibly, usually with family farmers, family wineries that epitomize the region they come from,” Victoria points out. “All of those things are important to us. And that doesn’t change with Roseade. If it wasn’t delicious and it wasn’t quality rosé and quality lemonade, we wouldn’t be involved.” 

When Karl was first introduced to the brand, Roseade was packaged in glass bottles. Born and raised in the South Bay and living an active lifestyle, Karl thought cans offered a more travel-friendly convenience. 

The pink can showcasing a yellow lemon rocking a pair of blue sunglasses made its debut in the U.S. this spring. But getting it here came with its own set of hurdles. Their initial U.S. launch was delayed due to COVID-19. And the current global shipping crisis led to more than a few sleepless nights waiting for the first container to arrive from Australia. 

“It’s been a big leap of faith—like off the side of a cliff!” Victoria says with a smile. But for Karl, the decision to move forward was instinctual. “I go with my gut,” he says. 

“Karl’s always been entrepreneurial,” says Victoria. “He’s an incredibly driven person. It’s one of the things that attracted me to him to begin with.” 

The refreshingly effervescent, not-too-sweet, slightly tart beverage can be found at many of your favorite watering holes and markets in the South Bay as well as online at roseadeusa.com.