The viognier is a white Cépage.
According to the legend, the viognier is a type of vine of Dalmatian origin , brought to France by the Empereur Probus. Its real origin is difficult to determine, perhaps acts it of wild vines of the area of the the Rhone. Indeed, during long enough the viognier is known only by the wine of Condrieu, on a rather reduced surface. The great attack of Phylloxéra then the First World War causes an abandonment of the vines, and the viognier hardly survives on some Hectare S (8 ha in 1965).
In 1986, it remains only 20 ha planted as a viognier, with Condrieu. Little by little name will be rectified and the surface planted to develop until reaching the 105 current ha. It also will be exported out of the borders of Condrieu, whether it is in the South of France or abroad. In the year 2000, there were in France 2359 ha planted as a viognier (source: agricultural census 2000).
Areas of use
In France, it is the single Cépage condrieu, a rare, expensive and required wine of the amateurs, as well as his little brother, the Castle-grillet, smallest French AOC out of white wine (3,5 ha), which has one producer.
Since the Years 1990, it is also appreciated in the South of France. In the beginning, it was planted to be vinified in complement of others Cépage S, in white as in red (Roast Côte). Recently, it is also used out of single type of vine for wines much less expensive, but more diluted than the condrieu.
Abroad, the viognier is used in Italy, Spain, Greece, Suisse or Austria. But it is out of Europe that it has the most success. It is one of large the Cépage S American white , mainly in California, where it is vinified only or in complement of chardonnay, of white Chenin or Colombard. It gives rather expensive wines compared to the local prices. It is also very popular in Australia where it represents 70% of the surface planted in white and product of the rather cheap wines. It is also planted in South Africa on 0,5% of viticultural surface and it is regarded there as promising.
The viognier produces a fine white wine and very scented, with floral notes (violet) and fruity (mango, apricot) very developed. It is a wine which is not kept and which is appreciated typically with fine fish and shellfish.
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