Viognier is a grape variety of white wine. For making French Condrieu wine in the Rhone, Valley Viognier is only allowed wine grape variety. Besides Rhone Valley, the Viognier wine grape variety can be seen in North and South America, Australia, New Zealand, the Cape Winelands in South Africa, and Israel states. Some states use the red wine variety Syrah as a co-fermenting agent to enhance the color and flavor of the Viognier wine.
History of Viognier wine grape
The place wherefrom Viognier is originated is still unknown. One of the old wine grape varieties might be from Dalmatia, which is now Croatia. Romans might have been brought the Viognier wine grape variety to Rhone Valley. According to someone, a Roman emperor, Probus, brought this grape in 281 AD.
Like the origination, it is also uncertain that wherefrom the name Viognier derives. Some said that it got its name from Vienne, which is a French city. But some feel that the name comes from the way Romans pronounced it, via Gehennae, which means “Road of the Valley of Hell.”
In 2004 a DNA test took place in Californian university which addressed that Viognier is closely acquainted with Piedmont grape Persia and contains genes of Nebbiolo.
Did you read about the interesting red wine grape Primitivo ?
Viognier Tasting Notes
Viognier wine grape tasting notes depend upon how well it is looked after in the vineyards. This grape, if grown well, offer
- Lovely flavors of fruits like apricot, peach, honeysuckle, and gingerbread
- The Viognier wine provides a round and pleasant exotic aroma
- It also contains a good amount of acidity.
- When grapes are collected late at a highly mature state, the wine offers sweet and oily notes.
- The wines that are prepared with over matured grapes are soft and don’t have high-quality aromatic notes.
- Its rich, fruity, and floral notes make this wine so adorable among wine lovers.
Top regions for Viognier wine grape production
Viognier has been widely cultivated since the 1990s throughout the world. This wine grape variety requires adequate heat to mature appropriately and balance its sensitive flower-like standard, fantastic appearance, and high alcohol percentage. This weather condition is hard to get for the vineyard owners. But where this kind of climate is available, those places can produce the high-quality Viognier wine grape. Following is some information regarding the topmost Viognier regions:
- It is the northern part of Rhone where Viognier was cultivated for the first time. This grape variety increases on the steep surface above the Condrieu countryside.
- Before some centuries, this wine variety could hardly be found outside Rhone valley. But from the 1980s, the orchard owners the interest of the orchard owners has grown. As a result, Viognier cultivation has started in the cities in California, and Australia has considerable amounts of lands for Viognier vineyard.
- The Viognier wine made in South Australia resembles the flavor of wine produced in Rhone valley.
- The best Viognier grapes are produced in the areas where the sea impacts provide adequate cold for its right texture and feel and enough heat to develop aroma and fast ripening.
- In Napa and Sonoma in California, high-quality Viognier can be found.
- Chile also cultivates Viognier in the cool areas of Casablanca. Wine made from these grapes is different from the ones made with grapes grown in Rhone.
- North Island of New Zealand, particularly Hawke’s Bay, is also according for Viognier cultivation.
- In the regions where the weather condition is neither too hot nor too cold, the production of Viognier is growing. Virginia’s Monticello AVA area is one such region where the cultivation of Viognier is increasing.
- Viognier is also cultivated in South Africa.
Top wineries/wine for Viognier
If you are a wine lover and don’t want to miss top Viognier wineries, then here is a list of the top Viognier wines:
- Chateau-Grillet, Rhone France, 1970 is fresh and well-built and light yellowish in tone. It offers notes of lemon and the aroma of honeysuckle, pear, and white peach.
- M. Chapoutier Condrieu Coteaux de Chery, Rhone, France 2014 is golden colored and contains flowery flavors with the taste of honeysuckle, ripe peach, and rich tropical fruit bouquet.
- Cayuse Vineyards Cailloux Vineyard Viognier, Walla Walla Valley, USA, 2016 contains 14.2% alcohol with smokey and floral flavors mingled with some fruity notes like white peach, pear, and Meyer lemon.
- Yarra Yering Carrodus Viognier, Yarra, Australia, 2018, is created with the oldest Viognier grapes of Australia. This Viognier wine is dry and gives a note of tropical pear and fruit.
- E Guigal Condrieu Luminnescence, Rhone, France, 2015 is a classic from Rhone. This wine is kept under oak for aging and fermentation. It has the aromas of honey, apricot, and white peach.
Viognier Wine Food pairing
To enjoy the wine at its best, you need to pair it with proper side dishes. Viognier wine can be paired with Veggies, as well as with meat and poultry semi-spicy items. Here is a list of Viognier wine food pairings:
As Viognier is loaded with fruity sweetness, one can choose light meats like
- Roasted chicken
- Roasted turkey
- Indian Chicken Korma
- Butter chicken
- Red duck curry
- Beef Rendang
Veggies and dairy
Viognier can be paired with some veggies and dairy items also such as:
- Salad made of root veggies
- Roasted carrot
- Roasted Burdock
- Stir-fried turnip and potato
- Roasted beetroot
- All veggies can be roasted together to form a dish
- Matured cheese like piquant and gorgonzola are also lovely to pair with Viognier.
Interesting facts about Viognier
Here are some interesting facts about Viognier:
- Viognier is used to make white wine
- This grape is the only permitted grape variety for French wine Condrieu in the Rhone Valley.
- The berry skin is blanc in color
- Full-bodied wine can be created with Viognier
- In Rhone, 740 acres of land are involved for the Viognier vineyard.
- Viognier is widely cultivated in France. Besides, it is seen in North America, South America, Australia, New Zealand, and Chile.
- Viognier wine can be described as ‘Sensuous,’ ‘Seductive,’ and ‘hedonistic.’
- It doesn’t contain high acidity and tannins like other wines.
- This vine needs a proper climate to be matured fully.
- The wine-making process using Viognier is challenging and influences the taste and quality of the wine.
- The cultivation process of this vine is different in various states.
- For making sure the flavors of flowers, the makers ensure 13% alcohol by volume in the wine.
- For availing 13%, alcohol level makers need to add sweet for fermenting the grapes.