Viognier is a variety original from the Rhone Valley, at Ampuis and Condrieu regions. It has early budding, so it is likely to suffer spring frosts, and has medium ripening. It is usually grown in espaliers because it is wind sensitive; long pruning is recommended. It is suitable for acid soils and warm places with no water shortage. Viognier has big compact clusters with small berries of thick skin, so it is quite resistant to botrytis cinérea. Its must is rich in sugar but poor in acidity.
Viognier white wines are very perfumed, smooth, full-bodied and tasty in the palate. AOC Condrieu and Château Grillet produce the best Viognier wines worldwide. Other appellations such as Côte Rôtie, add a small proportion of during Syrah wine fermentation to balance colour and add perfume. Some recommended producers are: Cuilleron, Gangloff, Guigal, René Rostaing, Georges Vernay and François Villard.