WTF is Viognier?

Welcome to a little segment I like to call What the Fuck Wednesdays. Like I’ve said before and I’ll say again, I love drinking wine but don’t know too much about it yet. So why not learn together? For this particular Wednesday, I thought we could talk about one of my very favorite Virginia wines–Viognier.

I’m just going to sound it out for you, because I’ve butchered it before literally while in a winery and it was very embarrassing.

“Vee-own-yay”

Here’s the scoop–Viognier is a full-bodied white. As you drink it, you’ll noticed it’s packed with plenty of florals, creaminess (most of the time), and fruit flavors. It’s rich and often aged in oak. Do you like Chardonnay? Good, you’ll probably like this too. Low in acidity, Viognier got its start in the Northern Rhône region of France. While still grown primarily in France, it now also holds the honor of being Virginia’s State Grape. That’s right, we have our very own special grape!

And it is delicious.

So how did it end up in Virignia? Dennis Horton, of Horton Vineyards out in Gordonsville, brought Viognier to the state in 1989. By 1993, he was winning international competition awards and with that, the Virginia Viognier took off.

The grape can be a bit difficult to grow, but just happens to love that red clay soil that runs through most of Central Virginia to the Blue Ridge Mountains. We have over 350 wineries in Virginia now, but if you want to try a really great Viognier, I suggest heading out to Breaux in Loudon, Potomac Point in Stafford, or Pollak Vineyards near Charlottesville.

If you want to learn more about Virginia’s grape, you can check out the sources I used: Wine Folly & The Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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