Definition - What does Viognier mean?
Viognier is a white wine grape variety originally found in the region of Rhone, France. It is also grown throughout the world in North and South America, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. It is a grape which requires a long growing season and has the ability to make medium to full-bodied wines. One of its signature aroma characteristics is stone fruit, for instance, peaches and apricots.
WineFrog explains Viognier
Viognier is mainly associated as the classic white grape variety from the region of Rhone in France. It thrives in this region, as the climate is the warmest in the country, a climate where this variety can thrive. Outside of France, Viognier is often found in other warmer regions such as Central Valley in California, Australia, and the inland wine regions of South Africa.
The heat allows the fruit to mature and develop characteristics which make for aromatic wines with silky characteristics and higher sugar content for a fuller-body.
Many compare Viognier to Chardonnay. However, for the vintner, Viognier is much more of a challenge to cultivate. In order to produce a balanced Viognier wine, growing conditions must be ideal. If the climate is too hot, then sugars will form without the maturation of aromatics.
Viognier wine is a full-bodied wine, often elaborated with toasted barrels and/or via sur lie. The resulting wines are creamy, lush and known for their perfume of peaches and apricots. It is a wine which pairs well with roasted poultry, root vegetable dishes and most Asian cuisine.