Gently dim the lights and pair our winter white with pizza, spicy chicken wings, and a movie, or plan an intimate dinner. Viognier allows for a wide variety of tastes. Top of my list are mild creamy curries, spicy noodle dishes like Pad Thai, or meat cooked in a creamy sauce such as chicken and mushroom pie. Alternatively, rich shellfish dishes such as seared scallops, grilled lobster and baked crab pair well. Add sweet root vegetables especially carrots, parsnips, and spicy butternut squash. Chicken salad, or spicy mango and cashew nut salad with apricots, peach or mango dressing echo’s well the flavor of the wine. Complement with glazed apricot tart and a cheese plate of Blue Cheese, Camembert and medium Cheddar.
Viognier (pronounced VEE-ohn-yay) is historically grown in the Northern Rhône valley. The precise historical origin of the varietal is unknown, but many believe it dates back to the Roman Empire. According to one story, Emperor Probus imported Viognier into Condrieu from Dalmatia (in present-day Croatia) in 281 AD as a means of replacing the vineyards destroyed by Emperor Vespasian. Legend has it that Vespasian tore up the Condrieu vineyards after the locals revolted, a revolt which he attributed to drinking too much of the native wine. Historical records confirm that Viognier was grown in the area during the Roman Empire, but when the Romans were forced out in the 5th Century, the vines remained uncultivated until they revived in the 9th Century. The origin of the name is also obscure. One legend has it drawing its name from the Roman pronunciation of the via Gehennae, meaning the “Road of the Valley of Hell”, which indeed could be an allusion to the difficulty of growing the grape.
Our award winning Viognier can be attributed to a daring 16 month, batonnage, barrel fermentation. With early release to maintain the delicious aromas of peaches, apricots, violets and a hint of pine. Our Viognier confidently treads the tightrope between feminine elegant fragrance and sinuous muscularity.
Silver Medal – 2017 Virginia’s Governor’s Cup