Viognier is a lesser known white wine grape, but its flavor makes it one of the most exotic wines. In fact, while many people feel Viognier is a grape of the world, until early 1970, Viognier was to be found only in the Northern Rhone appellation of Condrieu where less than 35 acres existed. As with Syrah, Viognier's origins are obscure. Some believe the name derives from the Latin via ghennae (the road to hell). It is said, Viognier was introduced from the Dalmatian coast to France by the Roman emperor Probus. Recent DNA parental analysis, indicates a parent-offspring relationship between Viognier and Monduese Blanche, which makes Viognier either a half-sibling or a grandparent of Syrah.
Wine lovers the world over have discovered Viognier's opulent, heady, alluring, exotic and luxurious appeal. The wine it makes is fragrant, and full bodied. It is usually deep gold in color and evokes the flavors of many fruits, often tropical. Viognier is a curious grape, difficult to grow and not a prolific producer. It ripens unevenly and its fruit maturity can become overripe in a matter of hours. It is one of the most troublesome grapes to cultivate.
We originally planted 125 Viognier vines in 2001 to co-ferment with our Syrah. As we continued to uncover the lush, exotic appeal of Viognier, we added additional vines, planting 300 vines in 2006 and 400 more in 2009. It is our objective to produce 100 cases of handcrafted, barrel-fermented delicate, but rich Viognier.