Viognier is a green-skinned white wine varietal with its origins in Rhone, France. Viognier is dependent on winemaking techniques and climate as the grape requires a long, warm growing season in order to fully ripen but not a climate that is too hot to where the grape develops high levels of sugars and potential alcohol before its aromatic notes can develop. The grape is also naturally a low yielding variety. In California, Viognier production is mostly found in the Central Coast AVA’s. Viognier is heavily planted throughout the United States, with over 20 states having Viognier under vine. Worldwide, Viognier is planted in Rhone France, Australia, New Zealand, and South America.
Viognier wine has a signature floral and fruity aroma on the nose. The wine has notes of minerals, pears, peach, honeysuckle, violets, and lavender. If a Viognier is left on it’s skin too long in the winemaking process, the wine will develop an oily characteristic. Viognier is highly aromatic and has medium to high acidity. Typically, a Viognier should be consumed within three years of production, or it will begin to lose its floral characteristics.
Due to it’s lower alcohol level, high acidity, and floral notes, Viognier pairs well spicy dishes such as barbecue, salsa, Thai and Indian foods. The acidity in Viognier also balances with chicken and seafood and shellfish dishes.