Virginia now has an official state wine grape… Viognier! The Virginia Wine Board recently voted it so.
Viognier, a grape and wine variety that originates in the French region of Condrieu in Northern Rhône, grows very well in Virginia’s climate and soil. Typically a dry or slightly off dry white wine with a lovely bouquet of tropical fruit, pear and honey in nose and taste. Virginia Viogniers tend to be closer to the French versions than the often heavier California versions.
Horton Vineyards helped put Viognier on the map in Virginia with its first vintage in 1992 which received many accolades. Since then Horton and many other Virginia vineyards are producing great wines from the grape. Horton continues to be one of the largest producers of Viognier in the U.S.
Last weekend at the Mount Vernon Wine Festival, I tried Horton’s Sparkling Viognier, their Dom Virginion as they call it. :) It’s a very nice bubbly, dry (Brut style) with tropical fruit flavors. Pick up a bottle for a cheers to Virginia Viognier!