Learn about Viognier — taste profile, popular regions and more ...
Full-figured and charmingly floral, Viognier is one of the most important white grapes of the northern Rhône, and the only one allowed in Condrieu and neighboring monopole (an entire appellation dedicated to just one winery), Château Grillet. It is also a blending variety in several appellations throughout the entire Rhône Valley. Viognier is grown throughout much of the rest of the wine world with some degree of success. Look for great New World examples from California, Oregon, Washington and cooler parts of Australia.
Viognier Tasting Notes
Viognier is a dry, white wine with a full body and distinctive floral aromas. Redolent of a full bouquet of flowers, stone and tropical fruits and a dash of spice. It is lower in acidity than most white wines, lending to its heavy impression on the palate, making it the perfect summer wine. While a whiff of Viognier wine might suggest sweet flavors, these wines are typically quite dry. If you love bolder white wines like Chardonnay, Viognier is something you’ll truly enjoy.
Viognier Food Pairings
Viognier wine is an intense, bold variety that can easily stand up to hearty food like pork loin with apricot stuffing, roasted chicken or chicken Kiev. Viognier also pairs well with seafood dishes like scallops seared in lemon and garlic, shrimp and pineapple kabobs or rosemary-grilled chicken!
Sommelier Secrets for Viognier
While Viognier is a white grape, it also plays an important role in the red wines of Côte Rôtie in the northern Rhône. About 5% Viognier is typically co-fermented with the Syrah in order to stabilize the color, and as an added benefit, add a subtle perfume. Viognier’s alcohol by volume (ABV) ranges anywhere from 13.5%-15%, and though it may seem like a subtle jump, the difference can make a huge difference on the palate. Lighter Viogniers are typically under 14% ABV while richer, bolder, fruit-forward styles are higher in alcohol.
Guigal La Doriane Condrieu 2009Viognier from Condrieu, Rhone, France