The grape most likely originated in the Northern Rhône region of France where it is widely planted today. And more precisely the village and abbey of Marsanne. It is a principal component of the white wines from the Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage and Saint-Joseph. It is the most widely planted white wine grape in the Hermitage AOC, where it is often blended with Roussanne. Along with Roussanne, up to 15% of Marsanne can be added to the red wine of Hermitage under Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) regulations.
In the Saint-Péray AOC, it is used for both still and sparkling wine production. In the Southern Rhône, Marsanne is not one of the white grapes permitted in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC, although Roussanne is. It can be found in some white wines from the Côtes du Rhône AOC. Outside the Northern Rhône region, Marsanne is also found in Savoie and in the Languedoc where it is often blended with Viognier. It is a permitted grape in the Provence wine of Cassis though it is not widely used.