Marsanne is a blending grape with its roots in the Northern Rhône wine region, and one of eight grape varieties permitted to grow in the Cotes du Rhone appellation. DNA research suggests its birthplace is the Drôme region, and its parent is Roussanne. Although it’s not well known on its own, it is often blended with Roussanne, Viognier and Grenache Blanc to create exceptional white Cotes du Rhone wine blends. This grape vine grows best in poor stony soils like clay, chalk, limestone and granite and prefers steep hillside vineyards in the Northern Rhône. It prefers cooler climate where it can create balanced, complex wine.
The Marsanne grape has distinctive aromas and flavors ranging from pear, white peach, mandarin, melon, pineapple, honeycomb, roasted nuts, spice and floral notes of acacia. Marsanne based wines get deeper in color and more interesting in flavor as they age.
Often used for blending, the Marsanne grape offers depth, medium/low acidity and rich, honey-like texture to white wine blends. Marsanne is lively, complex and silky with a medium body.
Marsanne prefers cooler climate where it is allowed to retain acidity and create complex, ageworthy wines. It is the most planted white wine grape varietal in Northern Rhone, and mainly in Hermitage, Crozes Hermitage, St. Joseph and St Perey. Marsanne also grows in Switzerland and Savoie where it’s know as Ermitage, Australia, Spain, and in United States, including California and Washington.