Viognier is a thick-skinned, white-wine grape variety with a reputation for producing aromatic wines that tend to be dry instead of overly sweet. While the origin of the grape is unknown, it took hold with great success in the Northern Rhône region of France. This once popular and abundant grape was ravaged by the phylloxera insects that infested Europe in the late 1900’s. The stock was further diminished when many of the vineyards where it was planted, were abandoned during World War I. The result was by the early 1960’s the grape was almost extinct in France.
Fortunately for wine lovers, during the 21st Century, the wine has had a tremendous rebirth. Today the grape is found in vineyards in France, Italy, Spain, Chile and the U.S. just to name a few. The grapes favor warm environments with long growing seasons. Picked when fully ripe, the grapes produce wine noted for high alcohol content and full aromatic aromas of apricots, orange blossom and honey. The flavors most associated with it are apricot and steel.
The varietals rich and complex aroma makes it a desirable blending partner for a host of other wines such as Chardonnays and Chenin Blancs. The pronunciation for Viognier is (Vee-OHN-yay). We have featured this varietal in our Gold and Garagiste Wine Clubs.
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