What is Roussanne
The late-ripening grapes can be challenging to grow since they do not tolerate drought or wind well, are easily felled by mildew, often ripen unevenly and produce unpredictable yields. The grape does best in areas with a long and consistent growing season. Used both as a blending grape and as a varietal wine, it is often tempered by the use of oak.
In the Rhône Valley, Roussanne is commonly used as a blending component in the white wines of Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage, Saint-Joseph and Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In addition to the Rhône, Roussanne is also prevalent in other areas of France, like the Languedoc-Roussillon, Provence and Savoie.
Outside of France, Roussanne has some presence in Italy, particularly in Liguria and Tuscany. In Australia, documents dating as far as the late 1800s trace the grape to the region of Victoria. It is now used both as a blending grape and a varietal wine there, to moderate success. California’s Central Coast, which became known in the 1980s for a movement toward Rhône grape varieties, has been a home to Roussanne for decades now, too. Other areas, like Israel’s Golan Heights and South Africa, are starting to increase their plantings of this grape variety.
Roussanne grapes are found in sparkling, and white wines.