Everything You Need To Know About Viognier

Viognier is a highly fragrant white grape variety that produces full-bodied wines with floral and ripe fruit aromas. Because of its low acidity, Viognier wine doesn’t have the ability to age for extended periods of time, so it is best to drink it while it is young and fresh.

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Grown mostly in moderate climates, a typical Viognier is dry with low to medium acidity, high alcohol and a medium-full body. Its wines have pronounced floral aromas and stone fruit flavours such as peach and apricot.


Winemakers mostly use inert vessels like stainless steel tanks for the fermentation process as they protect the wines from oxygen by using an inert gas such as nitrogen. This helps in preserving the fruit flavours of the wine. However, there are certain producers in the world who are experimenting with oak ageing just to give their Viogniers a bit more complexity.

Fun Wine Fact: Viognier is known for its strong floral aromas. The most common aromas associated with Viognier are peach, apricot, honeysuckle, and orange blossom. Some wines may also have hints of spice, vanilla, or minerality.

Stylistic Differences

Generally speaking, there are two styles that winemakers choose between when producing Viognier: new oak ageing versus neutral/no oak ageing. New oak ageing delivers a richer and creamier taste, alongside lower acidity and aromas of clove, nutmeg and vanilla. Neutral and no oak ageing (made in stainless steel vessels) will deliver more floral and tropical fruit flavours in the wine while maintaining its acidity and often a subtle bitter note.


Viognier produces the best wines when it grows in sunny regions where cool nights or nearby water bodies moderate the temperatures. The importance of cool weather is to maintain Viognier’s precious acidity. Here are a few important Viognier regions to remember


Northern Rhône Valley

Viognier is most popularly associated with the Condrieu appellation in Northern Rhône Valley of France. A single-estate appellation from this region worth mentioning is Château-Grillet. One of the smallest appellations in France, Château-Grillet not only produces a single variety of wine grape, but is also associated with just one wine producer. Due to its proximity to the Rhône river, Château-Grillet enjoys a mesoclimate. The soil in this area is a mix of clay and decomposed granite which also contains some amounts of mica deposits.

The wine from this appellation is full-bodied and oily, with perceivable acidity. This intensely aromatic wine has notes of peach and apricot. Château-Grillet wine has an extended barrel maturation period of 18 months to give it a more well-rounded flavour profile. It also has an ageing potential of 10 years in a bottle. 

It is worth noting that many winemakers in the Rhône Valley blend Viognier with their staple white wine varieties like Marsanne and Roussanne.


This appellation is located to the north of Rhône Valley and is primarily known to produce Syrah. However, Viognere is listed as an accessory variety in this region, and is added in small quantities of two to five percent to the Syrah to give it a better mouthfeel and to augment its bouquet of aromas. Being an accessory variety, its presence cannot be more than 20 percent in vineyards or the wines of this appellation.

Viognier has thrived in these New World wine regions

Walla Walla and Columbia Valley in Washington, United States

Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Elgin in South Africa

Eden Valley (Barossa) and Adelaide Hills, South Australia

Paso Robles, Central and North Coast of California


Serving Temperature – 7 to 12 degrees Celsius

Glassware - Standard white wine glass

Food Pairing

The trick to pairing foods with Viognier wine is to fully respect its delicate floral notes and medium acidity. Thus, as a general rule, focus on embellishing and expanding the wine’s core flavours while making sure that the foods you pair with it aren’t too acidic or bold. The aromas in the dish should intensify the fruit flavours and creaminess in the wine.

Meat dishes like roasted chicken, chicken curry and roast turkey breast pair well with this intensely aromatic wine, and so do seafood dishes such as pan-seared tilapia, sea bass, lobster, crab, shrimp, and poached salmon. Viognier is also a great companion for cheese fondue, farmer’s cheese, comté, baked brie, and gruyere. If you are a vegan, you can pair it with teriyaki tofu and sesame tempeh.

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Originally published 29th August, 2023



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