Viognier: The Countess

The great elegance and class of Viognier gives it its nickname.

Viognier’s origin is in the northern section of the Rhône Valley of France, especially in the far northern appellation of Condrieu.

Viognier around the world.

  • Full-bodied, lush white wines
    • Usually meant to drink young
  • Peach, pear, violet, floral, minerality
  • Likes long warm growing season
    • But not too hot, otherwise the is the risk the wine will have too much alcohol and too-low acidity
  • Central Coast California, Argentina, Chile, Australia, New Zealand


Viognier has become Virginia’s signature grape. Its thick skin and loose clusters
make it more reliable in the state’s humid climate than Chardonnay.



Viognier almost disappeared

  • Viognier is difficult to grow and is susceptible to numerous vine diseases
  • By the mid-1960s, only 35 acres of vines grew in the northern Rhône in and around Condrieu
  • In the 1980s, however, international winemakers “discovered” Viognier
  • Highly fashionable today, it thrives around the world (including 11,000 acres in France alone)

And how do you pronounce it?

  • The “i” is like the “i” in “onion”
  • The “gn” is like the “gn” in “lasagna”
  • The “er” at the end rhymes with “yay”
  • You stress the final syllable