is a relatively rare variety of grape
grown originally in the Rhône River
Valley in France
, and used in some white wines there and in the Tuscany
region of Italy
. The grape is also planted in various wine-growing regions of the New World
, such as California
, and Australia
. The berries are distinguished by their russet color when ripe — roux
is French for the reddish brown color russet
, and is probably the root for the variety's name.
In France, the grape is traditionally used in blends with another white wine grape, Marsanne. It is the only other white variety, besides Marsanne, allowed in France's northern Rhône appellationss of Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage and St. Joseph, and in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation also allows it to be blended into red wines.
The aroma of Roussanne is often reminiscent of a flowery herbal tea. Unlike some better known white wine grapes, wines based on Roussanne can mature gracefully, holding up well a decade or more after bottling.
It is a difficult variety to grow, with vulnerability to mildew, poor resistance to drought and wind, late and/or uneven ripening, and irregular yields.