Grape Variety Guides
Viognier Tasting Notes Guide

Everything you need to know about Viognier

Viognier is without doubt one of sexiest white grape varieties in the world, producing fine white wines with character and great ageing potential.

How do you pronounce Viognier?

Vee- on- yeah

 

Where does Viognier comes from?

Viognier originates from Southern France, in the Northern Rhone region of Condrieu. This is where it produces some of the finest wines from this wonderful grape variety.
 
According to the legend, Probus, the Roman Emperor introduced it in the region. The tale has it that he brought the vines over from the Dalmatian coast in Croatia.
 
Today the grape variety has had great international success. It is planted throughout the world, but prefers warm, dry climates.

 What does it smell like?

Viognier, when produced well, is a wonderfully aromatic grape variety, that develops aromas of apricot, peach, honeysuckle and gingerbread

 

What does Viognier taste like?

Good examples should feel round, rich and intense in flavours. But it is important the wines also have good acidity.
 
When Viognier has been been picked too late and too mature, it produces wines that are too sweet and oily. These wines are flabby, and often have a poor flavour profile.

 

What food will it pair well with?

It’s a wine I would definitely recommend you enjoy with food. Although its richness can make it a perfect aperitif white for colder autumn days.
 
When matching Viognier, I would recommend poultry and fish. For poultry dishes, think rather rich, creamy poultry dishes. If you go for fish, go for meatier fish such as Monkfish or Mahi-Mahi.
 
If you feel adventurous, Viognier is going to be fantastic with mildly spicy dishes. This is especially true of creamy spicy dishes. Think Chicken Korma or the milder Thai Curries where the match should be spectacular.

Chicken korma and Viognier pair best, food matching with Viognier

Where are the best regions for Viognier

There are many regions producing good Viognier.
 
If you’re looking for the best Viogniers in the world, I would recommend the Condrieu appellation.
 
You then have California that also produces some fantastic Viogniers.
 
But with both California and the Northern Rhone, you’ll need to have a budget ready.
 
The Languedoc-Roussillon in Southern France has some beautiful (and more affordable) examples.
South Australia and South Africa also produce great value for money Viogniers.

 

What tastes similar?

If you love your Viognier, I would recommend you try some of the richer oaked Chenin Blancs, from South Africa especially. Otherwise an interesting wine to go for would be a Vermentino from Sardinia in Italy.

 

What are the best Viognier wines?

If you’re looking for the top Viogniers, of course, Condrieu has to be top of that list.
 
The best? Chateau Grillet and Georges Vernay’s which are both epic.
 
In California, Qupé produces some amazing examples especially the Ibarra Young Vid.
 
Then in Australia, Yalumba’s The Virgilius, is definitely up there. In South Africa, Tamboerskloof’s Viognier is also a superstar.

Interesting fact:

Although Viognier is a white grape variety, it is often used in red wine blends.
 
Indeed, it’s favourite blending partner is Syrah
Viognier when blended with Syrah will liven up the wine. It helps to pick up the wine, to refresh it and bring it some aromatic complexity.
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3 Comments


  1. […] can go for some old Viogniers or big, old Chardonnays or white Rioja. These wines with a will have developed nutty flavours to […]

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    31st May 2017 at 2:40 pm

    […] Italy, a round Chardonnay or maybe a Viognier will be […]

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  3. […] Viognier, […]

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