Roussanne’s name comes from its russet-colored skin. The grapes are somewhat prone to rot, but high in acidity and in aromatic qualities. The same qualities that make Roussanne a racy, lively wine also give it the potential to age – setting it apart from the other Rhone whites. In the Southern Rhone, Roussanne is often the premium component of white blends. In California, the grape has been present in tiny quantities for perhaps a century, and coastal plantings stretch from Santa Barbara to the Sierra Foothills to Sonoma. The State listed a total of 166 planted acres of Roussanne in 2004.