Better in twos than alone
The Marsanne features a distinctive bouquet of flowers, cherries and marzipan. This white grape probably comes from the area around the village of Mars Anna on the Drôme, a tributary of the Rhône. Today, their stronghold is in the northern Rhône Valley, in the fields of Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage and Saint-Joseph. Wherever Marsanne grows, Roussanne is not far away. Both grapes are closely related. They are even mentioned together in a document from 1781. They complement each other perfectly: the low-acidity Marsanne brings its original flavours, while the Roussanne contributes liveliness. Further south, together they shape the white Côtes du Rhône. However, Marsanne cannot be incorporated into the white specimens of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The reason is simple: when grape varieties were being determined in the 1930s, it was not yet known there. It has been cultivated in Australia since the 1860s. In Switzerland, it is known as Ermitage. Here it yields dry and sweet wines with enormous storage ability.