Country of origin: France
Berry color: Green
Common synonyms: Bergeron, Barbin, Rebolot, Greffou, Picotin Blanc, Vionnier, Petiti Vionnier, Viogne, Galopine, Vugava bijela
Comments: The TTB-approved prime name is Viognier
Viognier is from Southern France, in the Rhône Valley districts of Condrieu and Château-Grillet. Some people believe that the vine originally was brought to France by the Roman Emperor Probus from the Dalmatia region where it is now cultivated under the name Vugava bijela. The areas now planted to Viognier are increasing worldwide.
Viognier is a low-moderate vigorous vine, but it can be productive under vigorous conditions. In France, it is planted on steep, shallow granitic soils. In the North Coast of California, it is usually planted on deep, alluvial soils. Viognier is not a good choice for shallow, dry soils. The canopy is somewhat open, with slender, pendant canes that need support. Since the vines are only moderately vigorous, close spacings are suitable: in moderate soils plant 4 to 6 feet in row, and in deep soils plant 6 to 8 feet in row.
Viognier produces very fragrant (floral and fruity aromas) wines with good acidity, tannin structure, and relatively high alcohol. The best examples are produced fairly simply and cleanly, often going from stainless steel fermentation to the bottle. Viognier is sometimes blended with Syrah (up to 20 percent) to give the resulting wine more fragrance and elegance. Some French Château Viogniers are considered to be among the best and most expensive white wines in the world.
Foundation Plant Services at UC Davis is the source of Foundation grapevine material for the nursery industry, and the staff can provide information about possible sources for obtaining this stock.
The National Grape Registry (NGR) contains information about varieties of wine, juice, and table grapes, raisins, and grape rootstocks available in the United States. Growers, nurseries, winemakers and researchers can find background information and source contacts for those grape varieties in this single convenient location.
|Publications||McGourty, G. 2003. Viognier (PDF). Pages 158-161 in: Wine Grape Varieties in California. University of California Agricultural and Natural Resources Publication 3419, Oakland, CA. Buy book|