Viognier grapes reach their best expression in the Northern Rhone Valley. Viognier, a white wine grape is the only grape allowed by AOC law to be planted in planted in Condrieu, and Grillet. Viognier grapes are also planted in other Rhone areas. In Cote Rotie, which is located close to Condrieu, the fruit is blended with Syrah to produce one of the most, exotic and erotic style of wines available from any wine region. The most famous and sought after wine using that blend is La Mouline, from Guigal.
When blended with the red wines of Cote Rotie, Viognier grapes add floral, peach and spices along with sensuous textures.
Condrieu, is a wine best enjoyed in its youth for its freshness and white peach, spice, honeysuckle and floral elements. Guigal produces the finest wine of the appellation with its La Dorianne bottlings.
Viognier grapes was a popular white wine grape prior to the Phyloxera epidemic. By 1965, the variety had become close to non existent in France. In fact, so little remained, at that time, a grand total of 30 acres were all that was known to be devoted to Viognier. It was close to extinct. Since then, the fruit has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in French vineyards and in other countries as well. Today, over 740 acres are planted to Viognier in France. The grape is also used to produce wine in America, Australia, Italy, South Africa and other countries.