Viognier is an up-and-coming white variety in California, but this cluster of sunburned Viognier shows why the berries need the shade protection provided by leaves. The hard, dark, sunburned portion inhibits berry maturity and, in sufficient quantity, will negatively affect wine quality.
California has 1,000 acres of Viognier vineyards, more than the variety's traditional home, the Northern Rhone. The medium- to full-bodied variety is intensely aromatic, filled with floral, exotic spice and tropical notes. In the Cote Rotie appellation, a small percentage of Viognier is frequently blended with Syrah, contributing its aromatics and delicacy to the blend.
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