Io Nielson Vineyard Viognier 2008
Fruit for Io is sourced from two outstanding Santa Barbara County vineyards-the Byron Vineyard in Santa Maria Valley and the Stolpman Vineyard in Santa Ynez Valley. The temperate, marine-influenced climate and lean soils of both appellations are vitally important to the development of fully ripe, world-class quality fruit. Santa Barbara County enjoys an exceptionally long growing season due in part to its southern latitude that prompts an early budbreak. Cool temperatures further extend the maturation cycle and result in a long hang time for the grapes-critical to achieving wines of great character and concentration.
The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces a good majority of the state's wine. This vast district stretches from San Francisco all the way to Santa Barbara along the coast, and reaches inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley.
Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including San Francisco Bay, Monterey, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley.
While the region could probably support almost any major grape varietiy, it is famous for a few. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are among the major ones. The Central Coast is home to many of the state's small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as larger producers also making exceptional wines.
Full-figured and charmingly floral, Viognier is one of the most important white grapes of the northern Rhône where it is used both to produce single varietal wines and as an important blending grape. Look for great New World examples from California, Oregon, Washington and cooler parts of Australia.