A heavy varietal from the Rhône valley of southern France. Marsanne produces wines that are rich, viscous, heavily pigmented, and oxidize quickly. In the past it was often blended with the more austere Rousanne to produce wines that required ten years or more in bottle before they were mature. Today, modern winemaking techniques have eliminated this need and Marsanne's biggest fault, that of flabbiness, is no longer a problem. Marsanne produces wines that are rich with almonds, honey, tropical fruits and wildflowers.
The Rhône regions of St. Joseph, Hermitage and Crozes-Hermitage offer the best examples of Marsanne though it is also found throughout the southern areas of France. It is also found in Switzerland under the name Ermitage Blanc, as well as California and Australia, which has some of the oldest Marsanne vines in the world.