Viognier    

Characteristics

  • Fickle grape to grow, subject to problems in the flowering and setting of fruit
  • Best picked late and fully ripe, with high alcohol, at least 13.5 degree
  • ...but can be too fat and overblown if grown in too hot temperatures
  • Very aromatic, with scents of apricot and honeysuckle
  • Intense stone fruit palate
  • Only top examples should be aged - otherwise best enjoyed young

Vinification/maturation

  • Wide range of styles: crisp and pure from stainless steel to powerful, barrel-matured examples

Best known as the only grape of Condrieu, an appellation in the northern Rhône, over the last forty years Viognier has spread down the Rhône (in the south it is useful as a blending grape) and to the Languedoc. In the New World there are highly successful Viogniers from California, South Africa, Australia, Chile, and notable value in Argentina.

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