Appreciated for its freshness, its aromatic qualities and its finesse, the White Viognier is a grape variety still little known, which could have disappeared. Fortunately, the culture of white viognier gradually extends, and meets amateurs around the world. Let's go to meet this white grape variety emblematic of the Rhône valley.
The history of white viognier
The Origins of Viognier There remain very obscure, but it is said that this grape dates back to the third century, when the Roman emperor Probus would have reported it from Dalmatia, to plant it in Gaul, and more precisely in the Rhône region.
Coming from wild vines, the Viognier was then cultivated in the northern Rhône valley, before expanding further south, then in other parts of the world.
If it has long been a dominant grape variety in France, phylloxera has been right, just like the First World War, or even industrialization. He then almost disappeared, and in 1965, we only counted 8 hectares of White vineyard vines (which represents the area of a small farm).
Fortunately, the winegrowers of Condrieu, then all those of the Southern Rhône Valley And from the south of France managed to give him back his superb. Since the years 2,000, it has even been cultivated in wine regions around the world.
The characteristics of the White Viognier
In vines and in glass, White Viognier grape is distinguished by characteristics that are specific to it.
The Viognier in the vineyards
the VIOGNER white grape variety is not very demanding, but it still requires a lot of sunshine. The sun and the heat then allow him to develop all the intensity of his aromas, which makes him a quality grape, even if it is not very fertile. And if he appreciates the sunshine, he is rather resistant to drought, but his early discharge exposes him to the risks of spring frosts.
In addition, the Viognier is sensitive to wind and powdery mildew, and to a lesser extent, to gray rot.
We recognize the Viognier by his Small clusters of compact grapes, and its small bays with thick and white skin.
The Viognier in the glass
The Viognier is a grape variety that gives natural white wines Appreciated for their roundness and acidity, but above all for their exceptional aromatic wealth. We then find in the Vinified white wine from Viognier, aromas of lime, honeysuckle, honey, apricot, or wooded notes or dried fruit.
In assembly, the Viognier does wonders with its acolyte Syrah. This other Rhône valley grape variety goes particularly well with the Viognier. The exceptional assembly is found in the AOC Condrieu, the only designation of controlled origin of the Côtes-du-Rhône to be able to use VIOGNIER. The wine is then soft, elegant, aromatic, and full of finesse and freshness.
VIOGNER culture in France and abroad
If the White Viognier has long developed that in France, it is now flourishing in several countries of the world.
The Viognier in France
It’s mainly in Ampuis and Condrieu vineyards, in the Rhône (69), that the Viognier is the most cultivated. It is thus widely used for the grape varieties of many appellations, such as Côte-Rôtie, Condrieu or Château Grillet.
But it is also cultivated in others French wine regions, and especially in Languedoc-Roussillon, in the Gard, or even in Corsica, where it is used to make monoceving wine.
The Vignobles of Viognier Extension today over 5,500 hectares in France, mainly distributed between the Rhône valley, Ardèche, Languedoc-Roussillon, Gard and Corsica.
The Viognier in the world
In Europe, vineyards of Viognier are mainly concentrated in Portugal, Greece, Italy and Spain.
The VIOGNIER went to discover the new world not so long ago. In the 2000s, he began to be cultivated in the hottest states of the United States (1,200 hectares), like the California, Georgia and Virginia.
We also find it in Australia, with an area of cultivation of 1,400 hectares.
It is then used in assembly, with Chardonnay, Colombard or White Chenin in the United States, and with syrah in Australia.
The Viognier invites himself to the table
The Viognier is often Aperitif tasted, but it is especially during the meal that he is most appreciated.
For a food and wine Perfect, we associate the Viognier with seafood and fish, but also with white meat or asparagus. At the end of the meal, he reveals his aromas with a goat cheese.
A little more surprising, the marriage of the Viognier and Asian dishes offers a harmony of pleasant flavors, especially with sushi, or Thai cuisine.
Discover the grape varieties of France, and stop in the Rhône valley and the south of the country for Taste a delicious Viognier. Then take advantage of your wine tourism stay to linger in Provence, where the Domaine de Bern will welcome you with great pleasure.