All About Viognier

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Pronunciations – “vee-o-nyay” 

Viognier is a grape variety that is most well known for being grown in Northern Rhone, producing remarkable wines in the appellation of Condrieu and the more prestigious Chateau Grillet. It is also often blended with Syrah in Cote-Rotie, as it was believed to help stabilize color extraction and add a bit of floral notes. 

However, Viognier is not only grown in the North Rhone or France for that matter. It is grown also in the South Rhone, Languedoc-Roussillon, California, Australia, Czech Republic and many more. 

Sometimes it is called Bergeron, Greffou, Viogne, Picotin Blanc. Viognier produces wines of a golden color, which have an oily texture, full body and are aromatic, with pronounced stone fruit aromas. 

Viognier Tasting Notes

Primary Notes – Stone fruit (Peach, Nectarine, Apricots), Tropical fruit (Mango), Golden Apple

Secondary Notes –  Oak (Vanilla, Smoke, Cloves) 

Tertiary Notes – with age fruit turns to dried and the wine develops a nutty character.

Body – light, medium, dark/heavy (light to bold)

Palate – Sweetness – Dry to Sweet; Acidity- Medium; Tannin- None;

Typical ABV% – 13.5-14.5%

Viognier Styles 

Viognier is made in a range of styles, although it is mostly produced as a dry white wine. When made as dry wine, it tends to have a high alcohol level, medium or medium to low acidity, with an oily texture and an expressive nose. It is often oaked, however the amount of new oak versus old oak varies a lot. 

Viognier can be produced as a sweet, dessert wine as well, whether fortified or a naturally sweet one. 

Probably the most notable wine made from this grape variety would be Chateau Grillet, an appellation in France which is a monopole. The sole producer in this appellation is Chateau Grillet itself. 

Viognier Classifications 

Viognier is produced in many wine regions in the world. Most well known appellations for Viognier would be in France. There are only two appellations for Viognier only and these are Condrieu and Chateau Grillet. In other appellations it is permitted in blends with various grape varieties. 

In other parts of the world, Viognier can be made into a single varietal wine but it has to be labeled with Viognier.

When To Drink Viognier 

Viognier is a versatile wine and it can be drunk on many occasions. It works well with food that is well seasoned or heavier in texture. The wine itself is full bodied so it can balance heavy chicken dishes or pork as well. When made in an off-dry style it can complement even spicy dishes, as the sugar will balance the heat. 

Viognier Serving Temperature – 50-55ºF (10-12 ºC)

Best Years To Drink Viognier

Most of the time Viognier should be drunk young. It does vary from producer to producer, however most of the wines aren’t meant to be aged. However there are stellar examples of aged Viogniers and some of them are from Condrieu or Chateau Grillet. Most go for about 15-20 years and some even longer than that. 

Viognier Nutrition Facts

There are about 110 calories in a glass of Viognier and about 4.5g of carbs. When made in a sweet style it can have about 14g of carbs and 140 calories.

A bottle of Viognier will have 660 calories and 27g of carbs for a dry style and 840 calories alongside 84g of carbs for a sweet style. 

Fun Facts About Viognier 

Viognier was nearly extinct in the mid 20th century but its luck turned in the years to come.

There were about 90 acres planted all over the world in the 1960s.

It was brought to the Rhone Valley by a Roman emperor named Probus.