Regional Varieties: Albariño Aligoté Amigne Arneis Chasselas Colombard Cortese Fiano Grechetto Grenache Blanc Malvasia Istriana Marsanne Muscadelle Muscat of Alexandria Ortega Palomino Parellada Petite Arvine Prosecco Rieslaner Roussanne Savagnin Scheurebe Seyval Blanc Tocai Friulano Torrontés Vermentino Welschriesling
Marsanne is one of the main white wine grapes of the French Rhône Valley. Its ripe, nutty flavor comes to perfect fruition in the cooler regions of France, but despite its finicky nature it is also planted elsewhere. The wines are spicy and are often high in alcohol. Unlike most other white wines, they become more intense and complex with age. The longer Marsanne is allowed to hang on the vine, the better aging potential the wine will have, although sweet late-harvested Marsanne is rarely of interest.
In the northern Rhône, Marsanne is best blended with similar grape Roussanne. A triumvirate of AOCs give the best examples of Marsanne: the Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, and Saint-Joseph. Hermitage, with its scenic slopes, is considered one of the best places for Syrah, but the small amount of white wine produced is considered world-class.
Marsanne wines can occasionally be found in the Côtes-du-Rhône. In other regions of France, Marsanne has been planted in Savoie and the Languedoc-Roussillon. The three other places that produce a lot of Marsanne are Switzerland (where it is known as Hermitage), Australia (in Victoria) and Washington.