Hailing from the northern Rhône in France, Viognier has been determined from DNA profiling to have a parent-offspring relationship with Mondeuse Blanche, making it either a half-sibling or a grandparent of Syrah. This is not entirely surprising given that many producers in the Cote-Rotie have historically co-fermented their varietal Syrah with a small percentage of Viognier, a technique thought to stabilize color and boost aromatics of the finished wine. This technique has inspired many other Syrah producers throughout the New World to do the same.
On The Vine
Early budding and mid ripening with compact bunches of small, thick skinned, grapes that develop a deep yellow color when fully ripe. Does best in acid soils and is adaptable to moderately warmer regions.
In The Glass
Characteristically perfumed aromas of apricot, honeysuckle and peach as well as a deep golden color provide Viognier with a distinctive profile that one would be hard pressed not to notice. Especially when full ripeness has been achieved, it is not uncommon for wine drinkers to perceive it as sweet even when bone dry due to its highly aromatic, fruity character and generally higher levels of alcohol.
Languedoc and Rhône Valley in France, particularly Condrieu, Château Grillet and Côte Rôtie; Australia; New Zealand; South Africa; California.
Viognier in California
Primarily found in the Central Coast, California is the world’s second biggest producer of Viognier next to France. The California sun, while raising alcohol levels slightly, allows Viognier to achieve maximum ripeness, a critical component for its characteristically perfumed aromas to be present.
Viognier at Fess Parker Winery
Showcased in the Fess Parker lineup as two different varietal wines, Viognier can also be found as a key component of our three white blends – Parker Family Reserve White, Melange Blanc and Marcella’s.