Viognier (pronounced Vee-yoh-N’YAY) is my favorite white wine. This stunning varietal originates in the Northern Rhône valley of France and was brought to the United States by American growers in the 1980’s. It has since found increased popularity with varieties being produced in North and South America, Australia, New Zealand, and beyond. While visiting Door County, Wisconsin this summer I was delighted to find a bottle from a local vineyard.
Viognier has distinctive stone fruit flavors with delicate floral aromas. Notes of apricot, peach, citrus and violet combined with honey and herbal undertones make it a rich and lushly flavored wine. It is generally low-acid and lingers beautifully on the palate. Neither too sweet nor too dry, I heard it once described as the “love child of a Chardonnay and Riesling”. It is a perfect accompaniment to lighter fare or dessert, or to just sip and savor. Prices can vary from $12 to $100 a bottle and even higher. I’ve tasted Viognier from both ends of the price spectrum and found them all to be satisfying. If you’ve never enjoyed this lovely wine I highly recommend giving it a try.