World Marselan Day Date in the current year: April 27, 2024

World Marselan Day Wine lovers around the globe celebrate World Marselan Day on April 27. This holiday celebrates a red wine grape variety that hasn’t been around for long but already has its fair share of fans among both producers and consumers.

Marselan is a cross between two popular red wine grape varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache (Garnacha). It was created in 1961 by French ampelographer Paul Truel who worked at Domaine de Vassal, the phylloxera-resistant ampelographic collection of the National Institute of Agricultural Research (Institut national de la recherche agronomique, INRA).

INRA partnered with the National School of Agronomy of Montpellier (École Nationale Supérieure Agronomique de Montpellier, ENSAM) to develop high yielding grape varieties with large berries of moderate quality. Truel combined Cabernet Sauvignon, known for its finesse, with Grenache, valued for its high yield, heat tolerance and color potential. He named the new grape Marselan after the town of Marseillan where it was bred.

Marselan was initially shelved due to its small berries and lower-than-expected yield. However, the situation changed a couple of decades later. By the late 20th century, viticulture trends shifted towards preferring lower-yielding grape varieties with good resistance to powdery mildew and other diseases. This caused INRA to give Marselan another chance, and it was added to the official register of grape varieties and approved for commercial release in 1990.

Today, Marselan is mostly grown in the Languedoc-Roussillon and Rhône regions of France. Outside of France, this grape variety is grown in Spain, Switzerland, the United States (California), China, Israel, Brazil, Uruguay, Romania, Bulgaria, and other countries. It is mainly used in blends, including Bordeaux wines (Marselan was approved for use in Bordeaux blends in 2019), but some wineries produce varietal Marselan wines.

Marselan wines tend to have a medium body, deep color, supple tannins, and a good aging potential. They have a strong aroma of ripe fruit and berries with earthy undertones. Marselan wines pair well with roasted meat, meat and vegetarian stews, lightly spiced vegetable dishes, and strong cheeses.

World Marselan Day was launched in 2018 by Grape Wall of China, a website dedicated to covering the China wine scene. Since Marselan is very popular in China thanks to a collaboration between the Chinese and French governments, it makes sense that the holiday was created by a project dedicated to the Chinese wine industry. The date of the holiday, April 27, was chosen to commemorate the birthday of Paul Truel.

There are many ways to celebrate World Marselan Day. The easiest one is to buy a bottle of Marselan, enjoy a glass or two, and post about the holiday on social media with the hashtags #WorldMarselanDay and #MarselanDay. You also can learn interesting facts about Marselan and share them with anyone who is willing to listen, attend a wine tasting or a wine and food pairing class, book a winery tour, or give someone a bottle of Marselan as a gift.

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