A very popular grape variety, that takes care and effort to produce a good crop. Because it is not a hardy grape, there is rarely enough Viognier to go round. One of the key qualities is that Viognier grapes are true to type, meaning that there only a limited variation in flavours from one vinyard to the other, so if you buy a Viognier, you know what you are going to get. This is great news for people like you and I since we can always be sure that a Viognier will taste great no matter where it comes from.
The wine almost died out in the 20th century, with just eight hectares of Viognier surviving in all of France by 1965. Since then hings have been turned around and the grape has been planted all over the world.
The name is pronounced with a silent 'G' so 'Vwah-on-yay' is a good ponetic approximation of the prononciation.
Viognier produces a rounded, buttery and full bodied wine.The complex flavour is sometimes reminiscient of peach and apricots plus a bit of honey and there is a fragrant bouquet of light spring scents such as elderflower.
Nonetheless it is usually produced as a dry wine and Viognier is almost always deeply yellow in colour and goes very well with Thai food and light chicken dishes.
Laithwaites has an amazing selection of these wines at present.
France and Argentina both produce excellent Viognier wines at the moment. In the USA there have been some problematic years with this grape, but things are improving. In France, all white wines with either 'Condrieu' or 'Château-Grillet' appellation contrôlée are Viognier.