7 curiosities of the viognier variety

viognier naveran

Do you know the viognier variety? It is a very special variety and still little cultivated in our lands, although in recent years it has become a trend due to its quality and originality and because it adapts very well to Mediterranean climates.

At Naveran we have almost a hectare of viognier that we planted on the farm in 2000, when it was still an experimental variety in the D.O. Penedes. With the viognier we make Clos Antònia, a wine with aromas of ripe fruit, sweet spices and creamy oak. It is elegant, with good acidity and has all the personality of the Viognier variety. Its name honors Antònia Parellada, the mother of Michel, founder of Naveran… Well, we could explain many curiosities about the viognier and our Clos Antònia… Here are some!

1. A variety originating from France

It is a variety native to the Côtes-du-Rhône, in southeastern France. The Rhône Valley is a fantastic region for growing vines. In fact, the origin of this crop dates back to Roman times. It is a very diverse region (since there is quite a difference between the north and the more Mediterranean area) and it gives rise to highly appreciated wines.

Precisely, we tried the Viognier variety during a trip to the Côtes-du-Rhône and we liked it so much… A great surprise! It was coming back and starting to prepare everything to plant it on our farm. And this trip is the origin of our Clos Antònia.

2. It was about to disappear

It seems incredible, but yes. In the 1960s there were only a few hectares left in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region! The viognier is originally from a valley and the vineyards were located on slopes, especially in the north. This made cultivation difficult and was one of the causes of its abandonment. However, it is a region with an ideal climate and orography for variety and quality wines. Fortunately, its recovery began in the eighties and today it is a consolidated variety in France, California, Australia, Chile and also in Catalonia. Long live the viognier!

3. Very aromatic and special wines

Undoubtedly, one of the most relevant characteristics of the Viognier variety is that it produces very aromatic wines. Apricot, peach, flowers… They are some of the most representative aromas of the varietal character. For this reason, it is usually consumed as a young wine, in order to fully appreciate its aromatic potential. However, breeding is very interesting for the viognier, we will talk about it in a few moments.

The Viognier variety also gives rise to smooth wines, with a good accumulation of sugars and low acidity. On the palate it is unctuous and long. It has a golden yellow hue, due to the grape of this variety. The result? Elegant, complex, fine wines with structure.

4. The versatility of a variety with good graduation

Viognier is an easy variety to grow, but it has its challenges when it comes to making wine: a variety with graduation and sugar makes it sometimes difficult to find the balance with acidity.

The viognier is a variety with good graduation. A completely remarkable feature (for example, the graduation of our Clos Antònia is normally between 12.5 and 13 degrees) and that gives it the ability to ferment and age in boots. We have mentioned that aging is very interesting for wines of the Viognier variety. Yes, the hand of the oenologist is very important and can lead to very different wines made with the same variety, from more delicate wines to more complex and forceful wines.

5. They say that it is a white wine for lovers of red

This expression, which is not always true because, as we have said, the Viognier variety can offer us very different wines; It comes from the tradition of aging Viognier wines in casks.

The aging in boots adds complexity and structure to the wines of the Viognier variety. The aromas of the variety are integrated with those of the aging. For example, with the aging of Clos Antònia we get aromas of ripe fruit, sweet spices and creamy oak.

And as an example of this versatility of the viognier variety enhanced by aging in boots, we explain how we make Clos Antònia: when we press the grapes and obtain the must, we put it directly, without macerating, into 300-litre French oak barrels for ferment. The result? A young wine (with all the splendor of the varietal aromas), but with body. We achieve unctuousness with a second malolactic fermentation and aging in the barrel and battonage.

6. It is considered the sister of chardonnay

The Viognier variety has a cycle similar to that of Chardonnay. In fact, at Naveran we usually harvest them at the same time, at the end of August. Both varieties produce aromatic and full-bodied wines for ageing.

Viognier is a long-cycle variety: early budding makes it sensitive to spring frosts. It adapts to warm climates such as the Mediterranean, however, we can also find it in colder regions, with less productive crops and even smaller and more compact grapes.

7. Some very original pairings!

By now you will have deduced that with the wines made with the Viognier variety we can create spectacular pairings! They pair very well with cheeses, crustaceans, white meats, spicy dishes and, in general, with Asian dishes.

Viognier wines are ideal to combine with different and original dishes. Flavors such as coconut milk or ginger are enhanced with the viognier variety. Thus, the flavors of spicy dishes acquire greater complexity if we pair them with viognier.

We encourage you to try original and easy-to-make dishes with our Clos Antònia, such as Pad Thai or some Chinese noodles. oh! And if you order sushi, accompany it with a viognier! You will tell us the result!