What is Viognier

Viognier is a white wine grape variety that originated in the Rhône region of France. It is known for its floral and apricot aromas, and its medium to full body with a rich, oily texture. The grape is typically used to make dry white wines, but can also be used in the production of sparkling wines and fortified wines. Viognier is a relatively rare variety, with plantings primarily found in France, California and Australia. The grape has a tendency to be low yielding and can be difficult to grow, but when done properly, the wines produced are considered to be some of the best in the world.

How do you pronounce Viognier

Viognier is pronounced “vee-ohn-yay.”

What is Viognier also known as

Viognier is also known as “Condrieu” in the Northern Rhône region of France where it is mostly found.

What does Viognier taste like

Taste profile

Low Acidity, Medium Plus Alcohol, Medium Body, Medium Sweetness

Primary Flavours

Tangerine, Peach, Mango, Honeysuckle, Rose

Storage & Handling

When it comes to storing and handling Viognier, a sommelier would recommend keeping the wine in a cool, dark place at the perfect temperature range of 45 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. To preserve the wine’s quality, store the bottle on its side to keep the cork moist and prevent any unwanted air from entering.

Upon opening, it is crucial to enjoy the wine within a few days to a week, as Viognier is a delicate wine that does not age well. The wine should be handled with care, gently poured and never agitated, as this can cause it to lose its aroma and flavor.

It’s worth mentioning that Viognier is a wine that should be enjoyed in its youth, usually within 2-3 years of the vintage date, as it doesn’t improve with age and can lose its character over time. A sommelier would recommend drinking it at its prime to fully appreciate the wine’s floral and apricot aromas, medium to full body, and rich, oily texture.

Food Pairing

What do you pair with Viognier

It’s highly recommend pairing Viognier with a variety of different dishes to truly bring out the best in this versatile wine.

For seafood dishes, the wine’s acidity and floral notes make for a perfect complement to grilled shrimp, scallops, and crab cakes. The rich texture and tropical fruit flavors of Viognier can also balance out the heat of spicy dishes like Thai or Indian cuisine.

Poultry dishes such as roasted chicken, turkey, or duck are also a great pairing for Viognier, as the wine’s acidity and floral notes complement the flavors of the dish.

Vegetarian and Vegan dishes like roasted vegetables, pasta with tomato-based sauces and vegetable ratatouille are also well suited for this wine.

Viognier’s aromas, acidity and weight make it a perfect pairing with a variety of soft and hard cheeses, like Camembert, Brie, Comté, and Cheddar.

Keep in mind that the right food pairing for a Viognier depends on the wine’s style and vintage. As a sommelier, I always recommend tasting the wine first and experimenting with different dishes to find the perfect pairing.

Where is Viognier grown?

Viognier is primarily grown in the Rhône region of France, specifically in the Northern Rhône where it is known as “Condrieu”. However, this versatile grape variety is also grown in other regions of France such as the Southern Rhône, as well as in other countries around the world.

In the United States, California has a long history of growing Viognier, and it is considered one of the state’s signature varieties. In Australia, Viognier has been grown since the 1980s and is considered one of the country’s rising stars.

In Italy, the grape is grown in the Veneto and Piedmont regions, mainly for sparkling wine production. Spain and South Africa also have some notable Viognier vineyards, mainly in Ribera del Duero and Priorat, and Western Cape respectively.

South America, Chile and Argentina, have also started to grow Viognier in recent years.

Viognier is a rare grape variety and its plantings are not as widespread as other white grape varieties. Nevertheless, as a sommelier, I would say that it is a very promising grape variety and is growing in popularity, and it’s definitely a grape variety worth trying.