Along with warm summer days, July brings us Independence celebrations. Living in Virginia, and especially Charlottesville, we are surrounded by revolutionary history everywhere we look. In honor of that historical tradition, we will be featuring a quintessential Virginia grape for the month; our 2018 Mount Pleasant Viognier. Long heralded as the star of Virginia’s signature varietals, viognier was designated as our official Signature Grape in May 2011. (For those of you puzzling over how to pronounce this tongue twister…vee-own-yay!)
Originating in France (and thought to have been brought there by the Romans), viognier is the only white varietal permitted to be grown in the northern Rh?ne wine region of Condrieu; the most internationally renowned viognier producer. In the 1960’s, the grape had fallen out of fashion and had almost disappeared worldwide before it was re-embraced only to quickly grow to be considered a top-tier wine grape. Dennis Horton, of Horton Vineyard in our neighboring Orange County, is credited with bringing viognier to Virginia in 1989. According to Charlottesville winemaker, Michael Heny, “In Virginia, viognier wines have loved the red clay soils of much of the Monticello American Viticultural Area”. Because of this excellent match of grape to terroir, Virginia wineries produce award winning viogniers every year, with more than 78 wineries in the state growing our most famous grape.
Viogniers are light to golden with typical intense and complex aromas of stone fruit, flowers, and citrus. Peach, apricot, and honey flavors (often honeysuckle in Virginia grown viogniers) are classic and make it a unique stand out from most other whites. The bright and dry complexity of this gorgeous wine make it a natural accompaniment to rich foods. Our 2018 vintage is bright with refreshing minerality and flavors of melon and lime in addition to your classic white flowers. Our viognier is always a staff and guest favorite.
Be sure to stop by the Tasting Room during the month of July to taste a glass of this gem of a wine and stock up for your home cellar (and take advantage of our Wine of the Month case discount!).