Bruce originally began growing Viognier because it is a hardy white grape that grow particularly well in the El Pomar climate region, with hot days and cool nights. He has been growing and making this grape since he began growing his Cabernet Sauvignon and you will frequently hear him in the tasting room referring to the delicious white wine as a ‘palette cleanser’ for the beautiful upcoming red wines. Please enjoy this Guide to Viognier so that you understand more about Bruce’s wines before you visit.
Viognier has recently increased in popularity among consumers. Most known as the principle white grape variety in the northern Rhône, Viognier is capable of producing extraordinary wines with peachy aromas. On the palate, there are dry, luscious flavors of tree fruit, nuttiness and undertones of spice. At its best, it is lush and rich with amazing complexity and a wonderful alternative to Chardonnay. Exceptional Viognier is also produced in Washington State and in the southern Rhône.
Floral, Peach, Apricots, Apple
Peach, Apricot, Apple, Nutty
Dry and medium-bodied with loads of fruit flavors
White meats, freshwater fish and mild cheese
Viognier was close to extinction as a grape variety with fewer than 100 acres, all planted in the shrinking appellation of Condrieu. Viognier has now staged a dramatic comeback thanks to the Rhône Rangers of California, who through extensive research have discovered certain areas of California where popular Rhône varietals would flourish, including Viognier. This trend boomeranged back to France where thousands of acres of Viognier are now being planted in the south, where it has proven to be very successful.
Viognier is a close cousin to Gewürztraminer, and like the spicy grape, is very aromatic, though rarely as rich in body. Inexpensive Viognier offers soft fruit flavors and a nice alluring bouquet. The higher tier, such as the Viognier produced in Condrieu offers unbelievable richness, density and complexity with powerful fruit flavors. One thing is certain, all Viognier is best when consumed young; most are not ageworthy.