Virginia Viognier

Learning more about wines starts with learning more about the grapes used in wine production.  Viognier is an interesting and somewhat rarer white wine grape variety. Of interest, it’s the only type of grape permitted in the French wine Condrieu in the Rhone Valley.

Of course, it can be found in most other wine producing regions outside the Rhone, including South Africa, New Zealand and Australia and both North and South America.  Virginia Viognier can be a bit tricky to work with because too much exposure to oxygen can destroy the natural aromatics of the wine, which means that it takes relatively more skill on the part of winemakers to create a delightful vintage.

In addition to the difficulties associated with the winemaking process itself, the quality of Virginia Viognier is highly dependent on the growing conditions.  Viognier grapes require a long, warm growing season in order to ripen completely, but if the climate is too hot, the grapes can develop high levels of sugar before its aromatic notes have a chance to develop. 

Finally, Viognier vines are typically lower yield than other types of grapes, which makes it significantly more challenging to create an economically viable vintage.

Unlike many other grape varieties, the history of Viognier has been obscured by the sands of time.  One legend holds that the grape was originally discovered in Dalmatia and brought to the Rhone Valley by the Romans sometime around 281 AD, making it an ancient grape.

According to the legend, the name of the grape is derived from the Roman pronunciation of the via Gehennae, which can be loosely translated as “The Road of the Valley of Hell,” which alludes to the relative difficulty of growing this particular variety of grape.

Difficult to work with or not, Viognier is a staple here at Blue Valley, and if you’re interested in coming to join us for a wine tasting, we’ve got two vintages that may be of interest to you.

Our 2018 Estate Virginia Viognier is a bright and vibrant wine of medium intensity that opens with rose petals and honeysuckle and offers a mango finish.  It won a Silver Medal from the Finger Lakes Wine Competition and scored an impressive 87 points from Wine Enthusiast.

If you’re a fan of the grape and the wine that’s derived from it, you may also want to sample our 2017 Memories vintage, which is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Virginia Viognier, with 1.4% residual sugar.  This blend draws you in with an intoxicating blend of honeysuckle and melon aromas, leading to a sweet, crisp flavor and a well-rounded body.  

It earned 89 points from Wine Enthusiast, and captured a Gold Medal at the San Francisco International Competition and a Bronze Medal at the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition.

If you don’t enjoy Viognier and you’re looking for something else, we have a broad selection of other vintages that may be of interest to you, including:

2015 Celebration Red Blend

Awards:

  • Gold Medal – American Wine Society
  • Silver Medal – New York Wine & Spirits Competition
  • Silver Medal – INDY International Wine Competition

Our 2015 Celebration Red is a blend of 60.1% Merlot, 35% Cab Franc, and 4.9% Petit Verdot.  It is a very bright ruby red with crisp acidity. It’s medium bodied with a tannin structure, featuring flavors of plumb, violet and both red and black berries.

2016 Tradition Red Blend

Awards:

  • Silver Medal – INDY International Wine Competition
  • Bronze Medal – American Wine Society

This is a blend comprised of 85% Merlot and 15% Estate Cabernet Franc.  It features flavors of red and black cherry with notes of smooth oak and black pepper.  The contrast is delightful and is sure to please.

2016 Estate Sauvignon Blanc

Awards:

  • Silver Medal – San Francisco International Wine Competition
  • Silver Medal – Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition
  • Bronze Medal – American Wine Society Competition
  • Best White – Finger Lakes International Wine Competition
  • Bronze Medal – Fauquier County Wine Competition
  • Gold Medal – INDY International Wine Competition
  • Bronze Medal – San Francisco International Wine Competition
  • Gold Medal – Governor’s Cup

A superbly balanced wine with hints of both melon and green apple.  Crisp and delightful!

2015 Remembrance

This wonderful vintage is made from a blend of estate grown Chambourcin (75%) combined with Vidal Blanc (25%) with 2.4% residual sugar.  It features opening flavors of blueberry, raspberry and a hint of oak. If served chilled, it will enhance the acidity and bring out hints of citrus and crab apple flavors.

2016 Sangiovese

Awards:

  • Gold Medal – Finger Lakes International Wine Competition
  • Best Red – Fauquier Wine Competition
  • Silver Medal – Great American International Wine Competition
  • Bronze Medal – San Francisco International Wine Competition

This fresh and fruity red contains notes of raspberries, black cherry, plum and violet with a slight earthiness.  It’s a fantastic, medium-bodied wine you’re sure to love.

Since we first began production, our wines have won more than twenty-four thousand awards, with more earned every year.  If the descriptions above have left your mouth watering in anticipation, why not schedule a trip out to see us and enjoy a wine tasting and some of our delicious, wholesome food?

If that’s something you’re interested in, you’ll find our hours of operation just below, for your convenience:

Peak Season – April through November

  • Monday through Thursday: 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM
  • Friday through Sunday:  11:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

Off-Season – December through March

  • Monday through Thursday:  11:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Friday through Sunday:  11:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

Please note that although we are open most holidays, we are closed on both Christmas and New Year’s Day.  Don’t hesitate to give us a call if you have any questions prior to scheduling your trip!

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Terry Kaye

Terry Kaye is Blue Valley Vineyard and Winery’s exclusive events planner and consultant. Terry Kaye Events is a full-service event design, styling and planning boutique specializing in Vineyard weddings, social occasions, and corporate affairs in and around Northern Virginia and Washington, DC. From intimate gatherings to the most lavish of events, TKE will manage every aspect of your party with creativity, elegance, and grace.

Terry Kaye, Owner and Lead Event Consultant, has been in the event planning sector since 2000 and has over 18 years of hands-on industry experience. Previous employers include Marriott, Aramark and private planning firms. Her attention to detail, creative vision, and undeniable style guarantees a flawless execution of every event she plans.
Terry resides in the heart of Fauquier County with her husband, three boys and their dog named Sunny.

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