Viognier Wine Guide

Cass Wines
May 4, 2018 | Blog | Cass Wines

Viognier Wine Guide

Welcome to the Viognier Wine Guide from Cass Winery. Viognier is not the easiest grape to grow. It’s a complex process which, when done right, yields the wonderfully aromatic and richly flavorful Viognier variety, which many connoisseurs rank as among their favorites. A white wine, Viognier traces its origins to southern France, in the Condrieu region. Viognier has an interesting flavor profile, as we’ll soon find out, and its wholesome flavors make it a great wine to pair with a wide variety of foods. 


Where is Viognier produced?

Legend has it that back in 281 AD, Roman emperor Vespasian wrecked the vineyards of Condrieu following a revolt by the locals. Later, in an effort to replace the vineyards destroyed, the Roman emperor Probus imported the Viognier grape variety into the Condrieu region from Dalmatia, which is in present-day Croatia, a few hundred miles away. Other prominent regions include Barossa Valley and Eden Valley in Australia, Tuscany and Piedmont in Italy, Paarl, Elgin, and Stellenbosch in South Africa, and other countries including Argentina, Chile, New Zealand, and Switzerland. In the United States, the primary growing regions include Sonoma, Napa Valley, Paso Robles, Monterey, and Virginia.


What is the flavor of Viognier like?

Viognier is a full-bodied wine that isn’t too high on the acidity scale. And although it has a substantially fruity flavor, it doesn’t taste too sweet to the tongue, being more subtle than a hit of sugar; the primary flavors in a typical Viognier include hints of apricots, honeysuckle, orange blossoms, gingerbread, and peach. Because of its distinct aromas, Viognier is one of the most easily recognizable varieties, and is ideally drunk young, before the grape ripens and matures too much, and before its low acidity fades. 


Viognier smells sweet to the nose, but it writes an entirely different story on the palate. Here, it is generally dry and soft, because of its low acidity, while the taste is full-bodied, distinct, and varies slightly depending on the climatic conditions in which the grapes were grown and the manner in which the wine was produced. Typically, Viognier is bottled as a varietal wine, and the grapes are generally not aged in new oak because the producers believe in the importance of keeping the flavor of Viognier crisp and fresh, in the bottle. However, some versions of Viognier are aged in oak, and these wines have a denser, creamier taste with hints of vanilla. 


What foods is Viognier best paired with?

Like most rich wines, Viognier is great as an aperitif on colder days. Beyond this, the wine pairs splendidly with poultry and fish. In particular, Viognier is best combined with rich and creamy poultry dishes, and with meatier varieties of fish. Interestingly, it also pairs beautifully with seafoods like crab, shrimp, and lobster, and with spicier foods like Indian curries; it’s less well-known, but as a versatile part of your cellar, Viognier can adorn a wide range of meals and events.


Viognier is, ultimately, a wine that borders between bold and fruity aromas. So, if this white wine tickles your taste buds, you’ll probably also love Torrontés from Argentina and dry Moscatel from Portugal, which share similar floral notes as Viognier, and Marsanne, Roussanne, and Chardonnay, which resemble creaminess of oak-aged Viognier.

So there you have it! That is our guide to Viognier Wine. If you have any other questions let us know in the comment box.