Just as Chardonnay is associated with the Burgundy region of France, Viognier is also associated with a specific French region: the Rhone. Viogier is the primary white grape for the Rhone region, and it is often the primary grape in Rhone blends. For the bigger picture on Rhone blends, check out the region’s two other predominant grapes: Marsanne and Roussanne.

Viognier is a dry, full bodied white wine, but its flavors differ from that of the Chardonnay grape. Viognier tends to have more floral notes, with apricot, pear and peach fruits as opposed to the apple/melon flavors of the Chardonnay grape. It is surprising to some to learn that Viognier is sometimes blended with Syrah, which is a typical practice in France.

Viognier is produced throughout the world and in many different styles. Expect French Viognier (especially from Condrieu, where the white wines are 100% Viognier) to be drunk young: wines from California and Australia tend to have a bit more aging ability.

Pair Viognier with spicy foods, like Thai cuisine: the fruit and slightly sweet characteristics are perfect accompaniments.