Viognier: Red and White Grape Wine Blends are More Common Than You Think | Wine Enthusiast
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About Viognier

In the vineyard, Viognier grapes are deep yellow, yielding a white wine that is equally deep in color. The variety prefers warm climates and requires a long growing season, though it has also been known to thrive in cooler climates. It is extremely prone to powdery mildew and is known for both low and unpredictable yields.

This highly aromatic variety is often associated with aromas and flavors of apricot, peach and flower blossoms. The wines are medium to full in body, low in acidity and are often described as having an oily texture.


Most widely planted in France, and specifically in the Rhône Valley, Viognier is the only grape permitted in the production of Condrieu and the monopole Château Grillet, in the northern Rhône Valley. The grape is also permitted in red wine appellation of Côte-Rôtie in the Northern Rhône, where it can comprise up to 20% of the blend.

In the Southern Rhône, Viognier is often blended with Roussanne, Marsanne and Grenache Blanc to produce white wine blends.

In addition to the Rhône, Viognier is grown in the Languedoc region of Southern France.

Global Production

Viognier does not have much Old World presence outside of France, although it is grown in South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. In the United States, winemakers in California’s Central Coast have had success with the grape. The so-called Rhône Rangers—winemakers known for introducing Rhône varieties to California—have been growing Viognier in California for decades. The grape is also widely planted in Virginia, where it has built a reputation as one of the state’s signature varieties.

Synonyms: Barbin, Bergeron, Galopine, Greffou, Petit Viognier, Petit Vionnier, Picotin Blanc, Rebelot, Viogne, Vionnier, Vugava Bijela

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