Viognier is a white grape that is used to make wines with the same name. Viognier grapes require high expertise from the winemaker due to the variability of the grapes during fermentation. Viognier grapes are susceptible to high temperatures as sugar levels can rise rapidly during ripening. However, Viognier grapes require prolonged exposure to heat in order to develop without ripening too quickly. Viognier grapes are often blended with a screen to give the wine a shimmer and brightness, as well as a tempting taste of apricot and honeysuckle.
Viognier wines vary in taste and texture. They are perfumed and can be fragrant (sometimes with a texture called oil) and rich. The grapes themselves do not show much character until they ripen. The Viognier harvest time is crucial, and their proper production bears fruit from ripe seeds and honeysuckle.
The low yield of the vineyards and the variability of the Viognier grapes, combined with the necessary knowledge for the fermentation process, mean that this wine is unlikely to compete with varieties such as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Viognier also does not store this wine very well, according to some estimates only three or four years. Despite these difficulties, Viognier is the hottest varietal wine in Australia, mainly due to its delicious combination with Shiraz.
Rhône Valley, France
Viognier is, of course, mainly associated with the Rhône Valley in France. In this region, Shiraz, or Syrah, as it is called in France, mixes with Viognier and inspires other winemakers around the world to seek success in this style. Condrieux is a region of the Rhône Valley where the wines must be 100% Viognier. In the 1970’s there were only 20 acres of these vineyards in the world, concentrated in Kondria. From here, stakes were taken all over the world to avoid extinction.
The History of Viognier
The origin of Viognier grapes is unknown; it is believed to be an ancient grape, possibly originating from Dalmatia (now Croatia) and later brought to the Rhone by the Romans. One legend says that the Roman Emperor Probus brought the grapes to this region in 281 AD; another legend says that the grapes were packed with Sira on a cargo ship sailing along the Rhone River on its way to Beaujolais when it was captured near the site of the modern Condrije, a local group of criminals known as culs de piaux.
The origin of the name Viognier is also unclear. The most common name is the French city of Vienne, which was an important Roman outpost. According to another legend, its name derives from the Roman pronunciation via Geenae, which means “The Road to the Valley of Hell”. It’s probably an allusion to the difficulty of growing grapes.
Viognier was once quite common. By 1965, the grapes were almost extinct, and a source reported that only eight acres in the North Rhone produced only 1900 litres of wine at the time. The popularity and price of wine increased and the number of plantations increased. Rhone now has over 740 acres (299.5 hectares).
In 2004, a DNA profile conducted at the University of California at Davis showed that the grapes are closely related to Piedmont Fraser and are Nebbiolo’s genetic cousin.
Discover Viognier wine.
Viogniere wine is a pleasure for people who appreciate things like the sweet smell of flowers. Viognier flavours range from lighter flavours such as honeysuckle, mango and tangerine, to creamier vanilla with cloves and nutmeg spices. If you know Chardonnay, you will also fall in love with Viognier because it is a little more aromatic, a little lighter and a little softer on acidity.
It can work as an alternative to Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay, for white wine lovers, and if the wine is made in a stainless steel tank, it brings the flavors of apricot and peach. Like most wines, vionier is also subject to relatively large variations depending on growing conditions, with samples from California differing significantly in taste from those from South Africa or Australia.
Viognier wine grows in sunny areas where it is cool at night and near large areas of water. Cold weather is very important as it regulates the wine’s main characteristic – its acidity. Originally, the wine originated in the Rhone Valley, but is often also grown in the Rhone Valley:
– Razo Robles in California
– Elgin, Franchhoek and Stellenbosch in South Africa.
– Wall is in Washington, D.C.
– Adelaide Hills and Barossa in Australia.
Food Pairing Viognier
Viognier is a dream with cream cheese like Délice de Bourgogne or Triple Brie with cream, but it can also work perfectly with more spicy cheeses. A good example is Gorgonzola with a mixture of cream and spicy flavour. The round and fruity flavours are a great combination, no quince paste is needed!
Try serving Viognier with your next curry dish. From Rendang beef to butter chicken and red duck curry, Viognier has the aromatic complexity and body to blend beautifully with spicy sauces. It will also be an excellent companion for Pad Thai or Moroccan Tagine, as well as a perfect combination for any dish with ginger.
Carrot, burdock, parsnip, turnip, potato, even beetroot – baked and served with a glass of Condrieu is a healthy and nutritious culinary success. Fried vegetables can be thrown through a seasoned rocket and garnished with peach or nectarine to obtain a delicious salad that matches perfectly with the taste and texture of Viognier.
Meat and Poultry
The sweetness and texture of Viognier fruit blends well with lighter meat like pork or veal. In particular, meat cooked in herbal cream sauces and especially with Viognier spices, which are thrown for a good dosage. Viognier can withstand chicken or turkey roasts. Just remember that it will not have acid or tannin, as in other wines, so it will not provide balance, but will take any dish to a new level of richness.
Viognier’s primary fragrances are dominated by floral aromas of rose petals and exotic perfumes. In addition, tangerine (sweet citrus fruits in general) is one of the brightest fruity fragrances in Viognier. It does not usually appear as a fresh and sour citrine, but as a softer or sweet tangerine cream of bergamot. Due to the sweet note that tangerine (and sweet citrus) adds to the scented profile, one would think Viognier would have some sugar on its palate, but it is almost always cooked in a dry style (i.e. without leftover grape sugar). Viognier will often include a fleshy stone fruit as well as a more intense and exotic taste of tropical fruit.
The future of Viognier
Viognier could be a star. It is a style of varietal wine, which many years ago, especially in the 90’s, implied the possibility of overcoming chardonnay as the favorite American white wine.
Realistically, however, Viognier has never had a single opportunity to bring down the most recognizable and common white grape in our country. Viognier is different from Chardonnay – remarkably different – and did not have what was needed to be widely consumed. Viognier may have been a bit too intoxicating and bizarre for mass consumption.
But viognier is a viable choice for people who love white wine, which is dry but also feels soft and round, with a medium full body, more qualities that go beyond the most expected taste of chardonnay. Besides the heavy and textured sensations, viognier can offer juicy floral and fruity aromas – springtime floral notes plus peaches and apricots, and even lush tropical fruits. For example, mangoes. Now you can smell it, can’t you? In the best samples, these dramatic and sensual notes can be accompanied by mineral stripes. They also hope to find some combinations of peach, apricot, pear, melon or pineapple flavours, often delivered with a soothing creamy note.
Viognier, although more accessible and visible today, is still growing relatively slowly around the world.
Despite its relative rarity, Viognier is the most popular white rona variety in the USA. But when you consider that the most popular red rona tinto in the US is sira, a grape that almost any wine lover will recognize at least by its name, it can make you wonder why vionier is no longer popular. One of the possible reasons is that it is difficult to grow and requires a long period of vegetation to reach optimal maturity. Moreover, it is particularly prone to mould due to its thin skin, and produces low yields.