Monday, October 16, 2023

Ground Zero for Luscious White Viognier

                 Wine-Knows will be visiting the home of Viognier wines next September, 2024

This is a second article in this month’s series devoted to wines of the Northern Rhone wine district.    Do you know Viognier wine?  If not, you should!  The appellation of Condrieu is ground zero for lovers of the highly perfumed white Viognier grape.  While Viognier is often used for blending in the Rhone, in the AOC of Condrieu it is 100% varietal.  In fact, the only wine that can be sold under the Condrieu AOC is a white wine made entirely from the Viognier grape.

                    Condrieu's appellation allows only one wine:  white wine made from Viognier

Viognier from Condrieu is a rich, opulent wine.  One of its pleasures comes before sipping.  The Viognier grape makes highly aromatic wines (think summer honeysuckle and/or fragrant roses).  For Viognier’s flavor you’re in store for another exotic summer experience (think ripe mango & papaya or even sweet tangerine).  

                             Viognier is known for its aromatic intensity and full bodied taste

Now for the bad news.  The Rhone’s Viognier production is very small.  If you see Viognier from the Rhone on a wine list (or on the shelf in a wine store) you’ll most likely be somewhere in the Rhone Valley.   While Michelin star restaurants in France will usually have a few Viogniers, the wine is not plentiful outside of the Rhone Valley.  That being said, here’s a magical trio worth every dollar and they’re all available through K& L Wine Merchants.

  • Andre Perret Coteau du Chery Condrieu ($80)
  • Clos de la Bonnette Legende Bonnetta ($60)
  • Francois Villrad “De Poncins: Condrieu ($70)


If you’re interested in tasting Viognier in the Rhone, why not come with Wine-Knows next September (2024) on its trip through the Rhone, Champagne, Burgundy & Provence.   There are 3-4 spots remaining.

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