World Marselan Day 2022: 15 facts about Marselan

World Marselan Day 2022
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To celebrate a World Marselan Day 2022, a celebration of a more obscure red wine varietal, we’ve put together a list of 15 facts about Marselan. We’ve also found a Marselan available for purchase in Australia, which we share with you.

World Marselan Day 2022

  1. Marselan is a blue-skinned, red wine grape.


  1. Origins of Marselan
    Marselan came about as a cross of cabernet sauvignon and grenache by scientist Professor Paul Truel in 1961. The grapes were chosen to marry the structure and elegance of cabernet sauvignon with the disease-resistance and high yields of Grenache.


  1. It worked! Marselan grapes are small but come on big bunches (which leads to higher yields), they are resistant to disease. Their size means there is a higher proportion of skins being used in wine-making. That leads to richer flavours, deeper colours and more tannic wines.


  1. Their later ripening means they need hot and sunny climates to mature. This also makes them an important part of the future of wine-making with climate change effects likely to make other varietals less suitable in the future.


  1. It wasn’t submitted for approval for commercial release and entry into the official register of grape varieties until 1990.


  1. The name Marselan comes from the local town, Marseillan, being the town in which the grape was born.


  1. Marselan wines
    The wines are deeply coloured and aromatic with supple tannins and the potential to age. Marselan wines can have aromas and flavours of mixed berries, plum and a touch of earthiness.


  1. Marselan in France
    In 2009, Marselan plantings made up 3,351 acres (1,356 hectares).


  1. The majority of Marselan plantings are Languedoc and southern Rhône Valley.


  1. Marselan in French wines
    In France, Marselan is mainly used in blends. In 2019, Marselan became one of four new red wine grapes authorised in the production of Bordeaux wines. Since last year, up to 10% of the blend in Bordeaux Superior and Bordeaux AOC wines can be Marselan.


  1. Languedoc however has produced some Marselan varietal wines – the first being in Carcassonne in 2002.


  1. Marselan in China
    In 2001, Marselan was introduced to China. Records from 2017 show 267 hectares of the grape, making Chinese plantings of Marselan the largest outside of its native France. These are largely found in south of Xinjiang, followed by Gansu, Ningxia and Huailai of Hebei. It’s even said that it may become China’s signature grape.
Image credit Chateau Zhongfei, Yanqi, Xinjiang
Image: Chateau Zhongfei, Yanqi, Xinjiang
  1. Marselan around the world
    Apart from its homeland of France and its new home in China, Marselan wines are also produced in Bulgaria, Croatia, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and in the United States (mainly California).


  1. World Marselan Day
    The wine is celebrated on the 27th April each year. World Marselan Day is the initiative of Jim Boyce at the Grape Wall of China. The date was chosen to honour the creator of the Marselan varietal, Paul Truel who was born on April 27, 1924.


  1. Get social
    Celebrate the varietal and the day by tagging @worldmarseland1 and using the #worldmarselanday on your photos. Also tag us @matildamarseillaise so we can see what you’re drinking and how you’re celebrating the day.

Marselan Day


None of our usual French wine importers have any Marselan wines in stock, so we’re unable to give you recommendations this year. We have however found the following French Marselan blend available for purchase in Australia:


Marselan Dan Murphy'sDan Murphy’s have a Granbeau Marselan IGP Pays d’Oc 2017 from the Languedoc-Roussillon region.


It is described as:

Dark, deep colour with a violet tint, the nose is intense, with blackcurrant, plum, spice, black pepper and slightly oaked and it tastes full, rich, well balanced and long. Enjoy with red meat, cheeses.


Happy World Marselan Day 2022? How will you celebrate the day?


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