Oregon Viogniers rare but out there

| September 15, 2012 | 0 Comments

If you enjoy white wines, particularly fruit-forward wines that are highly aromatic with floral notes, Viognier, a grape variety common in France’s Rhone region, may just be what you’re looking for.

Although the acreage planted with Viognier grapes in Oregon (a mere 210 acres in 2011 according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture) makes it one of the rarer grape varieties in the state, a growing number of Oregon winemakers are turning out wonderful Viognier.

One of the reasons I enjoy Viognier so much is that I think its fruit-forward nature makes it a good pairing with spicy foods, such as Thai cuisine.

It’s also a wine that’s meant to be enjoyed relatively young because it tends to lose its floral aroma with age.

One winery in our area that makes excellent Viognier is Illahe Vineyards. Although its 2011 Viognier is already sold out, you might still be able to find some at area retailers. It has a wonderful honeysuckle aroma with flavors of honeydew and pineapple.

Another winery in our area making excellent Viognier is Witness Tree. Its 2009 Estate Viognier has aromas of apricot and mandarin orange and flavors of peaches and spice.

In the northern end of the Willamette Valley are winemakers making excellent Viognier. One of them is Penner Ash. Its 2011 Oregon Viognier has a lively aroma of honey and apricot and flavors of peach and citrus.

Another is Anne Amie. The Anne Amie 2010 Viognier has aromas of lilac and gardenia and a zesty melange of orange, apple and peach flavors.

Plenty of wineries in the Rogue River area in Southern Oregon are making excellent Viogniers, including Quady North, Valley View, Bridgeview, and Pebblestone Cellars.


Category: Wine/Wineries

About the Author (Author Profile)

Victor Panichkul is a journalist and writer by training; a cook, wine lover and photographer by passion; and a lover of the outdoors since moving to Oregon more than 10 years ago. He is a native of Bangkok, Thailand.

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