Wines made with the Viognier grape have low acidity and a rich feel on the palate. They have flinty, minerally, and tropical fruit aromas on the nose. Viognier is generally fermented in stainless steel tanks, though some are oak aged. Malolactic fermentation is normally avoided due to the naturally smooth profile of these wines.
California Viognier does best on sunny hillsides. Because it takes a serious and dedicated grower to correctly cultivate Viognier, many California versions are quite good. The Rhone Rangers have led efforts to establish the grape in California. These wines are meant to be drunk young and will rarely improve with age.
In Europe, Viognier has historically been made in the Condrieu wine region of the Northern Rhone Valley. The grape is difficult to grow due to its tendency to develop disease and rot. Retaining sufficient acidity is also a challenge. Successful growers/producers are rewarded with one of the world’s great white wines.